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Learner Profile: Leanne Collier

Leanne, who has been working in dairy farming for 24 years, shares her inspiring story with AG Drive

In 2021 Leanne was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, but she hasn't let that keep her from working in the industry that she loves. 

"People keep telling me how positive and unique my story is, but I'm just getting out there and doing what I've always done" 

After her initial surgery, Leanne was back at work only a few days later. 

"My boss was a bit worried, he said he only wanted me on the easy jobs, but after a day or two I was back milking. I started off slow, but I felt fine, so I thought; why not?" 

After only 10 days back at work she got the news that she would have to undergo several months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and had no choice but to stop working.

"That was a difficult time, I think if you'd asked me to talk about this even a couple of weeks ago, I would have said no" 

However, now she has finished her latest round of treatment and once again is straight back into it. 

"I finished my treatment on Friday and started my new dairy farming job on Monday. Now I’m here at the Ag Drive course getting some extra tractor training to build my confidence up"  

Leanne knows a lot of other people in her position wouldn't be as keen to get back in the field straight away.  

"My family thinks I'm crazy, but I've already had to take 9 months off, I don’t want to take anymore" 

"Getting back to work after an illness or injury is never easy but honestly, I think it's been the best thing for me- I wouldn’t be feeling anywhere near this positive if I weren't back out in the field"  

When asked why she came to the Ag Drive course Leanne said it was an easy choice. 

"I just want to take every opportunity that is offered to me. Even after working in the industry for so long, I still wasn’t confident in a tractor, especially on slopes and uneven terrain." 

But that's all changing after a few days at Ag Drive, 

"This morning I drove the tractor right round the sloping edge of the paddock and down the steep hill- both things I never thought I would be comfortable doing. Just shows that it’s never too late to learn new skills."

Leanne's positive outlook is really something to admire, when speaking about the journey she's been on she simply says;

"No matter what happens now, I know I've done everything I can and I'm just glad to be back out enjoying the work I love."