He’s too young to drink, drive or cast a vote but youth is no barrier for beef farmer Simeon Cook.
Simeon, 15, owns a herd of santa gertrudis cattle which he runs on a seven-hectare lease block at Cardiff in Taranaki. …
Without a drivers license, Simeon has to take the bus from school to the farm, where he spends every afternoon during the week feeding, shifting and preparing his stock for shows.
“I try to get them set up for the weekend on Friday afternoon so I can have a couple of days to do other things.”
The regular competitor at A&P shows across the lower North Island has racked up multiple medals and placings. He also claimed the title of supreme champion at last year’s Stratford show with Stirling Betty.
A year 11 student and chairman of the TeenAg club at Stratford High School, Simeon said juggling school and farming could be difficult but his animals would always be his top priority.
“I have to knuckle down a bit more at school this year but in my eyes it’s animals first,” he said.
“Mum and Dad want me to do well at school and having the farm is going to mean there are a few late nights but that’s how it is.”
Beyond school, Simeon hopes to get a place at Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm in Hawke’s Bay but competition for the trainee positions was fierce, he said.
“They take on 11 cadets a year and there are hundreds of applicants. But that’s where I want to be and that’s what I’m working towards.”
While he is often alone on the farm, Simeon never felt like he was missing out on his friends’ after school activities.
“I actually feel like I’ve got the better end of the deal,” he said.
“I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”
Not many 15 year olds with that sort of maturity and work ethic. Very impressive young man.