City girl at home on the farm for CRV

Giv Penny

As a girl from Christchurch, Giverny Penny’s family didn’t know a cow had to get pregnant to produce milk. Now, as mating season gets underway and with years of dairy farming under her belt, she has found her home with genetics company CRV.

Giv (24) is CRV’s new sales consultant for the West Coast and Top Of The South looking after about 100 dairy farms in the region.

“I grew up in Christchurch as a city girl with no agricultural background at all, so farming was completely foreign to me,” says Giv. Then that all changed.

When she finished high school, a chance encounter with a dairy farmer in a pub that she was working in saw Giv offered a job milking on a West Coast farm, where she ended up working for three years.

“I've got horses and I’ve always been really into animals, so I absolutely loved dairy farming. It took a while to adjust, but I love calf rearing, and just being around animals all day,” says Giv.

She lives with her partner Logan at Lake Brunner on a three-hectare property where she has two horses and Logan runs a small beehive business, Back Country Honey.

The couple has about 80 hives and as the business has become busier Giv started looking for work that would allow her to help Logan. She spent time as a sales rep for Coca-Cola and an advertising rep for NZME for two years before joining CRV.

“I didn’t really know anything about advertising. I was a bit more of a duck out of water, but I found my feet a lot quicker at CRV. I am definitely right at home having that farming background,” says Giv.

“I've loved getting to know the farmers and working with the CRV team and being back on dairy farms.”

Giv spends a lot of time on the road covering the vast region and has most recently been delivering AI banks to farmers in preparation for mating, talking to them about the breeding goals for their herds.

“I love that with genetic gains I can help them breed a herd that they enjoy milking in the cow shed every day and a herd that they can be proud of.

“It does take time, around two years before you start milking new heifers, but you can make a big difference to someone's farm if you get the right cow and build their herd up from there,”

Farmers in the region have benefited from recent rain and the grass is starting to grow which Giv says is looking good for the breeding season ahead.

“It’s the highlight of my job. Trying to breed better herds and working with farmers to help them achieve their goals is always a nice feeling.”

She is also encouraging farmers to keep up with other services CRV offers including herd testing and products like ESTROTECT™, a breeding indicator that indicates when cows are ready to breed and provides pinpoint timing for artificial insemination.

“CRV is so much more than just a breeding company!” says Giv. “We’re a year-round partner for our farmers to help them get the best out of their herds from mating to calving and throughout the entire season.”