For the first time in its 55-year history, the coveted title of Young Farmer of the Year has been won by a female.
It also makes 28-year-old Emma Poole the first mum to win the competition.
“We finally knocked the grass ceiling off this roof,” she said.
Last year’s winner – which happened to be Emma’s brother, Tim Dangen – handed over the cloak of knowledge.
“When I put on the cloak last night it was nice to add a women’s perfume to the musty old cloak after 55 years so it was a pretty good feeling putting it on,” Poole said.
She’s also the first mum to win.
“It definitely adds a different dynamic, having a wee toddler around your feet while you’re trying to study and prepare for an event like this,” Poole said.
She already had a crack at the title before in 2019, so she knew what she was in for.
“We shore sheep, we drove tractors, fences, hoof trimming, hay bails all sorts of things,” she said.
“She had a real problem with her tractor… struggled to get the pin in to tow the harvester. Ended up being the last person to race… and came in third. It’s just that consistency and quiet determination that got her through,” said New Zealand Young Farmers CEO Lynda Coppersmith
Testing wasn’t all physical – there was also a quiz.
“She’s a dairy farmer, she’s a vet, she’s a mum. That really is what a lot of women in our sector are juggling every day,” Coppersmith said.
“It’s sort of a product of everything the women in agriculture have been working towards,” Poole said.
After 55 years the best-kept secret in farming – the women – is in the spotlight.