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A career in herd improvement takes flight for new CRV AB Services Manager

Emma Carne wanted to be an airline pilot, but a foray into dairy farming to fund her flying lessons instead launched her career in the dairy industry. More than 20 years later, she has joined CRV as the company’s new AB Services Manager.

It was the year 2000 when the self-confessed former townie took a milking job on an Eltham dairy farm. Today, she’s still as passionate as ever about the industry.

“I always thought I wanted to be a pilot. But with no dairy farming background at all I took a job on an Eltham dairy farm milking to help pay for my flying lessons and I never looked back,” says Emma. “I milked there for a few months and in that time, I fell in love with cattle.”

Born and bred in the Manawatu, Emma comes to CRV with a solid foundation in the New Zealand herd improvement industry, including working as an artificial breeding technician, managing artificial breeding facilities, and working in sales and herd testing.

“What I love about the job most is the collective goal we’re all working towards, which is getting the best cows on the ground for the next generation for farmers,” says Emma.

Emma will have her hands full this coming mating season with about 150 CRV AB Technicians and their loaders to manage across the country.

With 3.94 million cows artificially inseminated each year¹ in New Zealand, our dairy industry is crying out for more technicians. Attracting new recruits will be a priority for Emma, alongside organising her technicians’ runs and managing any challenges that crop up during the season.

“There is always a need for more technicians in the industry,” says Emma. “AB techs are renumerated well, but in my experience, the part people end up loving most is meeting the farmers and working with them. It certainly is a special industry to be in.”

While Emma has been busy learning the ropes at CRV, attending Fieldays and travelling to the South Island for AB training schools, her key goal for the season is making sure her technicians are well-resourced and supported.

“Getting cows in calf for our farmers is one of our main priorities, along with our AB techs’ safety and providing outstanding customer service. To keep providing this level of service to our farmer customers, we need to continue supporting our AB techs and give them the tools and support they need to do a great job.

“Some farmers like to do their own AB, but I know CRV farmers appreciate the expertise our technicians bring at such a crucial time of the season. I have already been impressed by the passion and talent of the CRV technicians I have met so far. They are all just neat people,” says Emma.

When she’s not at work you will find Emma on her 340-acre sheep and beef farm just outside Feilding, where she lives with her husband and four children.

Emma is also trying her own foray into breeding, synchronising a small herd of 20 Angus cows she is breeding from. The family also has a handful of hand reared calves in spring and 500 ewes.

“The Angus breeding is a bit of a hobby, but it keeps us busy, and I’m enjoying growing the herd,” says Emma.

¹ 2021/22 New Zealand Dairy Statistics report