Tour spurs career move

Izabella Hurst puts a plant in the ground at sheep and beef farm Spring Valley Enterprises, in...
Izabella Hurst puts a plant in the ground at sheep and beef farm Spring Valley Enterprises, in Wairarapa, as part of the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference Gala last month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Southern students considering careers in the red meat sector were among the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture youth scholarship recipients of 2021. In a series, Shawn McAvinue asks them about their study, their future plans and how they intend to spend their $5000 scholarship. This week, he speaks to Lincoln University student Izabella Hurst (21), of Oamaru.

New York will have to wait.

Turning down an internship with a logistics company in New York was a great decision, Izabella Hurst says.

The internship was set to start at the end of last year but she decided against it due to the unfolding Covid situation.

Instead she decided to further her education in New Zealand and realised the career path she wants to chase.

"It’s been the best decision for me."

She can still picture herself working in an international office one day but she wants the job to be in the red meat sector.

She was raised at Papakaio, about 15km north of Oamaru, and her family leases land for dairy farming.

She worked for leaseholder Ed Finlay during Waitaki Girls’ High School and Lincoln University holidays between 2014 and 2019.

Doing work on the dairy farm, ranging from milking cows to spraying thistles, she realised she wanted a career in the agricultural sector.

"It was a bit of me."

More holiday work at Whitestone Cheese, including shadowing managers of marketing and logistics, opened her eyes to a different part of the sector.

"It gave me an understanding of the next step in the supply chain — which spun my wheels."

At Lincoln University, she completed a bachelor of agribusiness and food marketing degree and is doing a master of business degree, majoring in global management and marketing.

She decided to chase a career in the red meat sector after going on a Big Deer Tour in April this year.

The "full immersion" tour, run by Deer Industry New Zealand, included stops at deer farms, velvet marketing companies and venison processors.

She knew nothing about the deer industry before taking the tour.

"It was really cool. That’s what sparked me — 100%."

She was inspired by the passion and commitment of everyone involved in the deer industry.

Another "awesome" event was the Deer Industry Conference in Invercargill in May.

The tour and conference motivated her to apply for the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture youth scholarship.

The $5000 scholarship would be spent on university fees and to attend more red meat conferences and field days.

The Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference Gala in Wellington last month was another "incredible and inspiring" event fuelling her dream of working in the red meat sector.

"I was like ‘OK — this is where I want to be’."

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