Meet Nicole Cooper – SenseHub® Dairy Training Specialist

Nicole Cooper is our SenseHub® Dairy Training Specialist based in Te Kuiti in the King Country, known as the shearing capital of the world (although there are a few dairy farms scattered amongst it!).

Nicole Cooper and her dog Ash: MSD Animal Health SenseHub Training Specialist, Waikato King Country.

Nicole first joined the team in 2020 for the upper North Island but as the team grew and as more farmers put collars on their herds, she concentrated her efforts on South Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

Nicole has a Bachelor of Science from Massey University, having gained it while working full time and studying part time. While gaining her degree that way took a long time, it meant that she was also able earn valuable work experience in administration/sales at a dairy detergent and fertiliser company, and doing biochemistry, parasitology, and microbiology testing as a lab technician in a veterinary pathology laboratory.

It’s safe to say Nicole’s rural childhood upbringing led her to want to pursue a career in agriculture. After lab work, Nicole joined a company training farmers to use automatic milking systems, a.k.a. milking robots. Nicole loved the way cows’ behaviours changed as they relaxed into a new way of milking and moving around the farm.

According to Nicole, her current job has many great aspects; she enjoys being out on the road, exploring stunning locations throughout the region, and meeting new farmers.

Her favourite part is working with the data to show customers what’s going on with their animals. While it can be challenging, as it involves gently guiding customers to consider adjustments to long-standing processes for improved production or increased cow well-being, it’s always rewarding when these changes positively impact results and outcomes. Embracing change may initially be a bit daunting for customers, but the eventual rewards make it a worthwhile journey for all involved.

Outside of work, Nicole lives with her partner, two dogs and three noisy chickens. Although she has a busy full-time job she also looks after her parents’ 32 ha property in Waitomo, rearing and finishing 30-40 dairy beef calves each year through to slaughter.

She has been a member of NZ Young Farmers for the past eight years and this year, along with a friend, they are convening the FMG NZ Young Farmer of the year competition. They have an excellent committee helping them create the best competition yet; challenging competitors over three days to find NZ’s ‘greatest young farmer’. Held in Hamilton in mid-July, everything is in one place and is focussed on making an exciting spectator event, catering for an anticipated 800 people evening show. It’s a big undertaking but they are very excited to bring this together.

Nicole likes to get stuck into the farm. 32 ha isn’t a huge property, but it certainly takes up a lot of Nicole’s spare time keeping it maintained, the cows happy and learning about all the new regulations that need to be implemented.

For Nicole, there’s nothing better than the outdoors – especially if she’s been sitting in the office all day.

To speak to one of our knowledgeable and experienced team members like Lee, book a farm visit.

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