Jessie Chan owns and runs a dairy business in Mid Canterbury with over 1000 cows. For the last 20 years she’s also worked in a range of roles in agricultural policy, research and sustainable farming for the likes of Meat and Wool NZ, Federated Farmers, AgResearch and Environment Canterbury. She was the recipient of the 2017 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award. In recent years, she’s also grown her career into Governance, and currently sits on a number of Boards including Ngai Tahu Farming and Alpine Energy. She is also the Chair of RuralCo, and is the first ever female to take on their Chair role.
"There were always been woman in agriculture going right back to when farming started, it just hasn't always been obvious; and it's becoming more and more obvious. Most good farms have a partnership, often a husband and wife team. Also, women tend to be very intuitive in working with stock and understanding animal behaviour. Farming isn't a test of strength like it used to be. We have technology and equipment now that means when you're farming, it's not about how strong you are. It's about how smart you are. You're farming smarter, not stronger."
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