'Just' a Farmers Wife

About Me


Well, It's a long story...

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Hi! My name is Chanelle O’Sullivan,

Background - I was born and raised in suburban Auckland and went to the largest girls school in the country. In each school holidays from age 14 to 17 I headed down to Sonrise Station in Glen Murray to ride horses and help out on the farm. Because of that experience, after completing and passing 6th form/Year 12, I moved to the Waikato to do a Certificate in Agriculture. 

After completing the Cert of Ag at WINTEC I headed to Cambridge to work on a thoroughbred horse stud farm for 6 months only to realise I don't like horses THAT much!

In October 2007 I drove 1,354km with my Mum from Wainui to Lake Pukaki to start my first sheep, beef and deer shepherding job (with extremely limited experience!). I lasted 3 months before I broke my arm but having met my husband one month in, I wasn't giving up that easily!

The reason I left Auckland and the Waikato was because I was NOT going to go dairy farming!... Turns out that's exactly what I ended up doing, for nearly 2 years in fact! At least is was in the beautiful small town of Fairlie! I got engaged on my 21st birthday.

From there I spent 2.5 years vet nursing in Geraldine before going on maternity leave at age 23 with Isabelle.


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The past 5 years - In early 2013 I was BORED. I had a well behaved one year old and going back to work wasn't financially feasible in terms of drive time, daycare fees and vet nursing wages. Not only that but I wanted to do something different. Enter Farming Mums NZ! 

Farming Mums came along at the perfect time not only for me but for many other women in the same position. The initial focus was on the 20-30 year old women who had left her career, just got married or had a child and was now at a loose end, living rurally with a partner working long, unpredictable hours.

Fast forward 5 years and we now have over 10,700 members and consistently growing by 60-100 women per month. (Happy to chat more about this with anyone interested).

FMNZ was the catalyst for everything that happened next. From working with the NZ Landcare Trust on an 18 month contract in the OTOP region, Grass Roots Media for 2 years in digital marketing for agribusiness and many public speaking gigs around the country.

In 2016 I did the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme at Lincoln University which accelerated and intensified my thinking and my entrepreneurial tendencies. 


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Today - Today I am passionate, excited, stretched, over-whelmed and dreaming BIG.

In December 2017 the farmer and I launched Virtual Insight, a company using 360 degree videography, virtual and augmented reality to tell the story of the primary industries from grower to consumer.

Also in December 2017 I launched an industry-wide women's wellness initiative after getting sick of hearing all the horrific stories of rural women being neglected in our mental health system nationwide. This is an ongoing passion-project.

In May 2018 I finish up with Grass Roots Media to focus on Virtual Insight, FMNZ and 'Just' a Farmers Wife . It's bittersweet as I love the team and the people I get to meet but it's time to put my money where my mouth is!

I love working with entrepreneurs and helping them find their mojo, I love promoting unique, kiwi based products, I love travelling, adventuring and taking photos as we go - which is good because my work regularly takes me around the country!

I'm a passionate learner and 'upskiller', currently learning the guitar, mandarin and looking into a Te Reo course. 


So, 'Just' a Farmers Wife is not a simple 'mum-blog', it's not a coaching blog, it's not a travel blog. It's a mix of my life and where ever that takes me!