Aimee Paterson spent four days of her school holidays learning how to shear and said it was ''the best experience''.

The 16-year-old Southland Girls' High School pupil has always known she will go farming when she leaves school, and learning to shear is part of that.

The training school was run by Elite Shearing Training.

''The first day was really hard but by the fourth day I was shearing by myself,'' Paterson said.


She and her sister Brooke were brought up on a 288ha sheep farm at Scotts Gap, owned by her parents John and Bronwyn, and they run about 3000 cross-bred sheep.

''From a very young age I knew I wanted to come home and take the place over,'' Paterson said.

''Every day is different and I am always learning.

''I have never pictured myself in an office.

''It is cool to see how important farming is.''

Aimee Paterson spent a few days at a training school learning to shear recently. Photo / Elite Shearing Training
Aimee Paterson spent a few days at a training school learning to shear recently. Photo / Elite Shearing Training

Paterson is interested in all aspects of the animals' life cycle, from doing half a lambing beat and delivering lambs, to seeing them weaned and tailed and then sent to the works.

However, she is not as enthusiastic about weighing lambs as they often do not co-operate.

Paterson has learned a lot from her father, from mixing drenches to going to rams sales with him.


''It is pretty much hands on and Dad passes the knowledge down to me.

''He taught me what to do at the sale and this year I picked out a couple that we bought.''

Her enthusiasm for farming extends to the TeenAg club at the school, where she is vice-captain.

Prior to that she was part of an AgriKids team, which placed second in the regional finals.

She is also involved in helping teach year 7 pupils about farming as part of the Young Farmers and partners' Bigger and Better Agrification programme, which is a sheep and beef farm-focused science and technology unit for schools.

She hopes to join a Young Farmers club when she is older, as well as compete in the Young Farmers competition.


''I want to do well at it and prove girls can be right up there.''

She has been promised a job interview at the end of the year with a pest control company, which fits in with her hunting and duck shooting passions.

''I am really into hunting as I like to protect what we have on farm for the future.

''If that doesn't work out, I will go to Lincoln University.''

She also enjoys rugby and long-distance running.

Aimee advised anyone who was considering a career in the primary sector to talk to people in the industry and read about it.


''Get out amongst it, as you won't lose anything and can only gain,'' she said.