I’m Mark Olsen – Vetland, one of LIC’s Farmwise consultants. I’m originally from the UK but have been in Southland and South Otago since 2006 with my wife Rosie and two daughters. I have a degree in Agriculture, and farmed in UK before we moved where I was managing a specialist seed production farm.
What is my Kiwi farming experience?
Upon moving over, we worked our way through the Contract milking system to Sharemilking, and so a large portion of my experience comes from being on the ground and having walked the farming walk. I have also worked for Dairy NZ and Beef and Lamb NZ doing consultancy and project management work. I have found consultancy and helping farmers to be my bread and butter.
When I stepped away from the physical aspect of farming and sat more behind my laptop, I quickly realised losing that level of activity wasn’t sustainable from a health perspective. So now, I run and swim in my spare time, I do a bit of training for marathons and last year I completed an Iron Man. My girls are competitive swimmers, I love that we share similar interests, and it gives something for us to do as a family.
What do I like about working with farmers?
I enjoy the work I do, and most especially enjoy working with people. I love seeing progression in this industry, whether that be young people coming through, or good people getting opportunities to progress. The part I love about working with a farmer is focusing on where do we want to go? How do we make your business go better? How do we get that last 10% out of your resource? How do we spin those wheels for you? These are the bits I really enjoy. Being a part of that journey, where we know your goals, we know your strategy so, we do what we can to get the rubber hitting the road and get you there.
I believe strongly that integrity is everything for a successful consultancy relationship, I am here to help you run your operation, this is about you and your business. My job is to help farmers work out what they can control and things they can do that work for their business. There are not a one size fits all answer, and not all priorities are the same between farms. I see FarmWise consultants as so much more than support advisors. When I was farming our FarmWise consultant really impacted our lives; business and personal. He became more than a core part of our business. He became our mentor and friend.