3 Nov 2017

Mad about sheep

From Country Life, 9:30 pm on 3 November 2017

Now she's here, Dayanne Almeida is on a mission to spread the word about sheep farming in New Zealand.

The Brazilian animal scientist was determined to find work on a New Zealand sheep farm so she sent 500 emails to farmers with her CV and references.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

She received one job offer.

That was in 2009.

Now Dayanne is working for Wairere Rams in Wairarapa and, whenever she gets the chance, live-streams commentary  and video footage about sheep farming activities to the 14,000 people around the world who follow her Sheep Nutter Facebook page.

"I even a call myself 'sheep nutter'. I heard that once and I said that's a great word. That's just me. Exactly."

And she still pinches herself that she is living in New Zealand and is working with sheep.

"And I love it. I just love it," she says, hooting with laughter. "It's my life. It's like a mission you know? I love everything about it. I write about it. I dream about it. I work on it. I do a post graduate degree on it, on sheep genetics. It makes me so happy."

Dayanne has been impressed by the way the way New Zealand farmers support each other and share information that will help other farmers prosper.

And she tells her social media followers that New Zealand farmers are humble.

"I have friends that come over and work with us for three months and they are like 'you're on the  farm and you don't know who is the boss and who is the shepherd.' That's what they tell me. 'You can't tell - they're all dressed the same. They all do the same (work)'".

She says her mother was astounded when she was invited to her boss' house for dinner.

"My mother couldn't believe it....'You're having dinner with your boss? Wow, it's amazing. Do they treat you like you can eat at the table with them? ' I said 'yes you can'. See how different it is."