Along with my partner Ian Whitmore, we own a farm at Rotomanu which is in the heart of the West Coast just east of Lake Brunner. Our daughter Andrea lives in Canterbury, and having finished her BSc studies at Lincoln University has begun work in Ashburton.
I am currently chair of the local TB-free Committee, and president of West Coast Federated Farmers, and have been elected onto the National Federated Farmers Board.
The farm at Rotomanu milks about 200 straight Jersey cows on a pasture-based system supplying Westland Milk Products. We also do some local contracting making baleage, pit silage, and effluent spreading via slurry tanker and muck spreader.
Previously I have worked at the local freezing works at Kokiri, where I did numerous jobs from carcass grading on the slaughter floor, food safety work in the laboratory, meat inspection on the chain, and eventually finished up documenting all procedures on plant as they applied for ISO 9002 accreditation, which was successful.
I have also had some experience in systems auditing and have worked for LIC in the past as a sales rep and MINDA records assistant.
I have helped local farmers set up numerous groups over the years; some involved with production, e.g. West Coast Focus Farm, but more recently around environmental issues.
These range from solutions for nutrient runoff from hump and hollowed land, farm plan projects for Lake Brunner catchment, and more recently, in conjunction with Landcare Trust the Lake Brunner Community Catchment Care Group.
My off-farm interests include tramping, diving, hunting, water sports on the lake, snow skiing, bird watching and aviation.
“Katie demonstrates an unselfish contribution to the dairy industry delivered with a passion and zest that gets attention. She already plays in a space beyond her immediate expertise, experience and comfort zone epitomising a dairy woman determined to make a difference and thus achieving great advocacy outcomes for the wider dairy industry.” – Judges Panel.