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Sarah Morgan Farm Compliance Officer

From Music to Agriculture

Sarah Morgan left a career in the music industry to pursue her long-held passion for agriculture.

A degree at Lincoln University helped her define what she wanted to do, and gave her the experience needed to have confidence to get into the sector.

Why did you return to study?

I grew up on a dairy farm in Australia, but also always had a great love of music. When I left school not many women held active on-farm roles, so I ended up in the music industry for a long time.

I took a year off to come to New Zealand because I loved it and wanted to explore. I helped a friend out on his dairy farm in the Waikato and it reignited my passion for farming. I wasn’t kidding myself that I could own/operate a farm. I decided my best option for a career change was to study for a qualification that would allow me to work with farmers and satisfy my passion for agriculture.

What did you end up studying?

I did a bit of a tiki tour and had a really great chat with the guys at Lincoln University. They took me all over campus and weren’t scared of how old I was, and assured me there would always be work for people on a farm. So I did a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Agricultural Commerce.

As part of my degree I had to do some farming jobs for three months a year, get experience on farm, and that was gold. One of my roles was milking sheep, which was fantastic – I even ended up working retail at the farm’s shop in Riverside Market in Christchurch CBD selling their products.

Did you find the degree valuable in following your passion?

For a complete novice, it would be very hard to walk onto a farm and understand everything straight away. That’s why study in the right field is perfect for people who have never done farming before, to go and learn some skills that will get them ahead.

Sarah Morgan

If you’re bored with what you’re doing, and are in a position to study, even part time, it’s good for the brain, and good for career opportunities."

Sarah Morgan

How did you find it, suddenly being back in a tertiary environment?

I know a lot of other mature students who just started back at uni this year, and it’s daunting! But if you have the time and energy, then absolutely do it – I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

If you’re bored with what you’re doing, and are in a position to study, even part time, it’s good for the brain, and good for career opportunities.

What’s your message to those thinking about heading back to study?

Follow your passion, what you are interested in – even if it’s only been a hobby or something you’ve admired, look into it! Go for it! It doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone, google it, attend an expo, whatever. If you’re at all curious about a sector, look into it. Why not?