Wendy Harker from Te Awamutu was announced Holstein Friesian NZ president at last week’s annual conference.
This is potentially a first female president in NZ for breeders’ associations. It is a first for Holstein Friesian.
Holstein Friesian New Zealand elected its first female president at Annual Conference recently.
A first for the Association in its 105 year history, Te Awamutu breeder Wendy Harker takes the reins from outgoing president Doug Courtman after six years as a council member.
Alongside husband David, Harker milks their Westell herd under Mount Kakepuku, the 470-strong herd is 90% registered with Holstein Friesian New Zealand.
A keen breeder, she is eager to continue to promote the Holstein Friesian breed within the New Zealand dairy industry.
“The Holstein Friesian cow is the most versatile breed with the largest, best and most reliable genetic pool in the world,” she says.
“You can breed a Holstein Friesian cow to suit all types of farming systems in New Zealand and we need the straight bred Holstein Friesian cow for profitable dairy farming in New Zealand.”
As well as running the farm, Harker is kept busy as an executive member of the Waikato A&P Show, senior Holstein Friesian and Milking Shorthorn Judge and Calf Club Judge.
She is also a certified Traits other than Production (TOP) inspector and Classifier for Holstein Friesian New Zealand,
Harker represents Holstein Friesian New Zealand at the New Zealand Dairy Breeds Federation.
She hopes to continue the example of great leadership that Doug Courtman and the previous presidents have set.
“The Board is a team effort and I see it as my job to make sure that we make the best use of those skills available,” she says.
Harker believes the strength of the dairy industry in the future is with young breeders and farmers coming through the ranks.
“I really enjoy seeing the passion and enthusiasm of the Young Breeders both in the show ring and starting their farming business, they are the future of our organisation.”
At the dairy industry level, Harker actively keeps pace with the animal evaluation system.
“It is important to ensure our TOP and Classification systems are functioning well and future research supports accurate reliable information about our breed.”