Shepherd careers in focus

Reporter Shawn McAvinue questions shepherds at a Womolife course, teaching the skills of crutching, wool handling, penning and pressing of strong wool, on Jeff Farm in Kaiwera, between Clinton and Mataura, last week.1. Why did you choose a career as a shepherd?

2. What song do you put on a playlist to work to in a shearing shed? 

Archie Tayler

18, of Temuka.

1. I come from a cropping background and was brought up with tractors and heavy machinery but it was never my thing, and we had a few sheep at home and I love working with them and then an opportunity for a cadetship came up at Jeff Farm and I thought, bugger it, I’ll make a change and I’ve been loving every minute of it. It’s the best decision I’ve made in a while, it’s all going pretty smoothly. The shearing course has been awesome, too. I couldn’t use a handpiece before I came to Jeff Farm and now I’m getting my head around crutching and belly crutching.

2. Definitely country music. It would have to be songs by Morgan Wallen.

Garrett Flack

18, of Otautau.

1. I grew up around stock and sheep and have never known anything different. I like being around sheep and working with them and in that time, I’ve picked up skills and tips and tricks with them, which I can use in my job, which is good. I’m in my second year at Jeff Farm and I’ll find work with sheep, beef and deer, somewhere other than the South. I was born and bred in Southland so I want to get out of here and try something different while I can and I’m young. I don’t know where I’m going to go and I’ll work that out as it comes.

2. Some old country — a bit of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

Jake Heslop

19, of Lawrence.

1. I love my dogs and working with stock every day. I’m an outside kind of guy — every day is different outside. I’m in my second year at Jeff Farm and leave at the end of this year, and I’ve got a bit of casual work lined up on a station in Central Otago.

2. A bit of Abba always goes good, that sort of carry on.

James Armitage

17, of Mossburn.

1. My old man was a farmer and I was interested from a young age, and I was offered a job as a shepherd on North Range in Northern Southland on my holidays and weekends and it became a full-time job about eight months ago.

2. Any sort of country music — I’ll go Zack Bryan.

Galaxie Waihape

22, of Wairoa.

1. I was a shepherd in Gisborne for five years and now I’m learning to shear. I’ve always wanted to work with animals. The appeal of shearing is that it’s good, hard work and it’s up to you how much you make in a day.

2. Any songs by UB40 — they’re all good.

Thomas Scurr

17, of Cardrona.

1. My old man owns a farm in Cardrona. I grew up with it and I’ve always wanted to do it so I came to Jeff Farm for a cadetship to get a good start to my farming career.

2. A bit of country or a bit of DnB (drum and bass). It’s good to have a mix.

George King

21, of Rangiora

1. I didn’t grow up in a farming environment but I had a wee teaser here and there and later on in school, it’s all I wanted to do. I’ve always been an outdoorsy boy — a lot of hunting and that. I love working with dogs and the outdoors and now I’m working south of Mossburn on Ryan Farms.

2. Long Time Gone by The Chicks.

Ethan Hayes

20, of Gisborne.

1. I like working with animals and working outdoors — I hate being inside. I got brought up doing it and never considered doing anything else. I’m now working at North Range, out of Lumsden.

2. Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker.