Livestock Market Update: Staff profile - Locky May - doing right by farmers who put their trust in him
‘It’s good to see clients happy. If they are happy, that’s what I call success.’
Locky May is a member of a long established Central Canterbury farming family: previous generations have worked the same sheep and cropping property just out of Darfield for more than 150 years.
Locky is a dairy livestock representative for PGG Wrightson in Canterbury, starting in the role last December, having come through the company’s academy programme and working as a sheep and beef trainee for the previous two years.
His initial aim since starting the role has been to build relationships.
“I have learnt a hell of a lot over the last six months. Although I knew the basics, there was, and still is, so much more to learn. Farmers understand that and have been supportive. Slow and steady wins the race. I don’t want to rush in then over promise and under deliver. I want to do right by the people who put their trust in me.
“With many farmers I say to them: ‘You’ve done this longer than me. You will teach me more than I can teach you.’
“When I have a clear opportunity to add some value or help their business, that’s where a good long-standing positive relationship comes in. I’m aiming to be the person to call for honest, reliable, helpful information,” he says.
Locky‘s high school years were spent boarding at Waitaki Boys, Oamaru, after which he worked as a shepherd for three years on multiple properties, including the iconic 8000 hectare Hukarere Station, West Otago, and Wairaki Station, Blackmount, Western Southland.
Back on home soil, he is thoroughly enjoying life as a livestock representative.
“Seeing people do well, seeing them move forward, growing their business. As a rep, if the farmer is happy you are happy. It’s good to see clients happy. If they are happy, that’s what I call success.
“Being a livestock agent is a real privilege. We see so much of the countryside, and the networking is important. If you are a social person it’s great being able to put that into your job. It’s different to the real physical side of shepherding: not being out there any longer, walking the hills every day. Although that was good, I knew I wasn’t going to do it forever,” he says.
As a Canterbury based dairy rep, Locky is seeing farmers adapt to new land and water use regulations.
“That is important in my role. With all the new environmental rules, stock numbers will have to come down. Farmers have to focus on genetics to create more production out of less cows. Part of my role is to understand that, so I can help clients and point them in the right direction to make their business as productive as it can possibly be,” he says.
Outside work Locky spends as much time outdoors as possible, supporting Darfield in Ellesmere open grade rugby during the winter, hunting whenever he can, and jet boating in the summer.