Teagen Gray's leap from academia to award-winning Dairy Manager

Teagen Gray's leap from academia to award-winning Dairy Manager

Teagan Gray was presented with the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year trophy at the recent awards evening. 

Her journey unfolds on her family's 160-hectare Thames Farm, where she has evolved from a farm assistant in 2016 to managing the milking of 478 cows, a testament to her growth and commitment. 

"My first and foremost passion has actually always been horses... it wasn't really until I went to uni and I was doing my Bachelor's of Agri Science that I actually really started looking at the dairy industry." 

Her pivot towards dairy farming is a reflection of her adaptability and willingness to embrace opportunities that align with her personal goals and identity. Gray also emphasises the importance of work-life balance and her continued love for horses, which now serve as a recreational outlet from the demanding farm responsibilities. 

"They're very much a hobby now... they're my getaway from the farm each day," she explains, highlighting the value she places on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

The conversation touches on the broader context of women in the dairy industry, an area where Gray believes progress is being made. She acknowledges the need for women to "work that little bit harder to be seen and heard," but is optimistic about the shifting attitudes. 

"There's definitely a lot more females and you're seeing a lot more of us out there," she remarks, suggesting a positive trajectory for gender equality in agricultural leadership roles. 

Gray discusses the current state and future of the dairy industry in New Zealand, particularly in the face of increased government regulations and environmental concerns. She sees these challenges as opportunities for innovation and adaptation.

"The farming, especially dairy farming, it's just evolving and adapting all the time to new research and new technologies." 

Her forward-thinking perspective is evident as she concludes that New Zealand will remain a leader in global farming practices. 

Listen to the full chat between Teagan Gray and Dominic George above.

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