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Introducing May Coe, ESAI newest committee member

Attending the AGM in August was my first direct interaction with ESAI so it was something of a shock to end up on the committee.

I will do my best to further the group’s aims, which I support, and to bring what experience I have to bear in a constructive way.

The Coe whose name was given to the Selwyn River Ford was a relative and I grew up on a sheep and cropping farm bordering Lake Ellesmere Te Waihora.

Over the last decade, I’ve been involved in farming in the area, leasing properties for sheep, cropping, beef and dairy support at different times, as well as working off-farm and being a mum. I have worked in agriculture, for Oakley’s Premium Fresh Vegetables in Southbridge and for Landpower, after studying management and applied management at university.

At present, I’m working for Tait Communications in Christchurch, another company which retains strong ties to the countryside.

My areas of expertise/responsibility have variously included human resources, health and safety, corporate social responsibility and environmental compliance. So I guess you can see that I’m a mix of country and town.

I have experience in dealing with bureaucracy as well as understanding the productive side of farming, and I know that often those two sides seem like they can never co-exist or understand each other’s point of view.

I think it is great that ESAI’s aim is long-term sustainability, to ensure our boots-on-the-ground understanding of the practical interactions between farming and nature have a clear voice with everyone else who seeks to regulate and influence what we do.

Thanks for the opportunity.

May Coe

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