For twenty six year old Kate Schoen, travelling to New Zealand on the Angus Australia Foundation Trans-Tasman Exchange Scholarship, will give her the chance to further develop her skills and knowledge in the beef industry.
Kate grew up on her parents angus stud, Orlanga Angus where she developed her love for stud angus cattle and the cattle sector. Growing up on the family farm instilled her interest in agriculture from a young age.
‘I have always wanted to have a career in the agriculture, and since school have aimed to get as much experience as possible to set me up for a long future in the industry,’ said Kate.
During this time, Kate also spent time at many major studs preparing animals for sale, exhibition and doing general farming duties.
‘This has been not only a great way to learn a great deal but more so a fantastic networking tool that has on countless times helped me in my future,’ she said.
Since high school, Kate worked as a registrar with Angus Australia for three years, Rivalea Australia, a large intensive pig farm, as a technical research person and later as an overseer of the genetic program for three years.
Currently Kate and her husband, Murk manage a family farm which is a mixed farming operation including, cattle; feedlot, contract embryo rearing, and a cow calf operation, sheep, summer and winter cropping and hay.
Looking towards the future, Kate would like to continue farming where she is today with an emphasis on continuing to improve the financial and environmental sustainability of the business.
One of Kate’s biggest goals is to grow the family’s Angus stud to a size capable of hosting an on-property bull sale.
‘We have currently just bought a larger property in a new area and have started to increase herd numbers using embryo transfer to help speed up the process,’ said Kate.
‘Breeding Angus cattle is my true passion and the possibility of this in the future excites me and gives me something to work towards,’ she said.
Kate also aspires to be a leader to young people and hopes to encourage others that no matter what their background or education is that there are pathways through the agricultural industry to secure a place and make a future career.
When asked about her motivation for applying for the Trans-Tasman Exchange Kate sights the enjoyment she has had from looking at other cow herds.
‘I have spent many holidays visiting studs and sales that we admire throughout Australia. I really enjoy talking and learning off other producers on what works for them and what they are aiming for in the future in their program,’ said Kate.
‘I was lucky enough to be chosen to represent Australia at the World Angus Forum in New Zealand in 2013, which was a fantastic opportunity to see a snapshot of New Zealand Angus,’ she said.
Following the World Angus Forum, Kate spent a couple of days seeing as many cattle as possible, but is looking forward to a more extended trip that will also incorporate the South Island.
‘I would like to see as many stud angus and commercial farming business in New Zealand to gain a better understanding of the differences and similarities of their farming practises and breeding programs and goals,’ said Kate.
Top image: Peter Parnell CEO Angus Australia & Kate Schoen.