After graduating from Vet school Amie spent more than three years as a dairy Vet in Eltham in Taranaki. She soon had an appreciation for how hard dairy farmers work and just how much they care for their herds. To this day, Amie says the wide eyed look of a newborn calf is hard to beat.
Tell us what it was like to be a new vet and working with Fonterra farmers and their livestock?
As a new vet, you’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of you and the majority of farmers I dealt with were accommodating, welcoming and supportive. I learned a lot from them and benefited from their knowledge from their many years of experience.
Do you have a stand out memory of that time?
I loved calving season. It was hard work but really rewarding. With a lot of calving cases, it would be me and the farmer up in the early hours of the morning, working together, trying to get some pretty tricky ones calved. But nothing beats that feeling of those big eyes blinking at you when you’re up at 2am and feeling exhausted. I have even had a calf or two named after me!
What was it like to be part of a community with a strong focus on dairy farming?
It made me appreciate how dedicated farmers are and how much hard work goes into dairy farming. By the end of my years at Eltham, I really did feel part of the community.
What would you say about a farmer’s relationship with her or his herd?
The welfare of their animals is obviously important to farmers, but it goes beyond that and their herd really is like their second family. You can tell the ones that were hand reared. There are always a few favourites.
You’ve traveled the world a bit since you started out your career as a dairy vet, what do you think makes Kiwi’s special?
Sounds cliché, but their friendliness and laid back attitude can’t be topped.
What are your children’s favourite dairy products?
Milk, milk, and milkshakes. ☺