Local dairy farmers, managers and trainees were awarded at the 2018 Auckland/ Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards on Saturday 10 March at the Pukekohe Indian Hall.
Share Farmer of the Year for the region went to first-time entrants Chris and Sally Guy. The couple are in their second season 50:50 share milking on Allan Guy’s Papakura property, milking 200 cows.
They won $12,364 in prizes and have a clear vision of the future, and believe farming offers a great lifestyle for families. “We feel that the industry has a great path for progression if you are willing to work towards your goals,” they said.
Ethan and Sarah Koch were runners up in the Share Farmer of the Year competition. The couple are 50:50 share milkers on Laurie and Ingrid Bylsma’s 85ha Tuakau farm, milking 210 cows. They won $3354 in prizes.
Ethan and Sarah chose to leave their careers in building and teaching and make the move into the dairy industry as they felt it was a lifestyle that required hard work, but with many rewards.
“Farming enables a variety in work, there are constant challenges and we have the ability to progress through the industry and manage our own business,” the couple said.
They believe one of their strengths is that they work as an effective team. “We are on the same page as to where our business is headed,” they said.
“We want to continue to grow our equity so that we are in a position to purchase our own farm.”
23-year-old Oliver Milne, placed second in the Dairy Manager competition, winning $3100 in prizes. The Karaka Assistant Manager placed third in the 2015 Auckland Hauraki Dairy Trainee competition.
“I enjoy the lifestyle of dairy farming and the ability to work outside with animals and machinery,” he said. Oliver works on Kelvin Reeves’ 270ha, 480-cow farm and holds a long-term vision to own a farm, milking a pedigree Ayrshire herd.
Auckland/ Hauraki Dairy Manager third place getters were Robbie Morritt and Jacqui Rutherfurd who are contract managers for Kevin and Joanne Sands, on their 160ha Awhitu farm, milking 207 cows. The couple won $1525 in prizes.
Robbie and Jacqui say the competition has taught them to review their personal and business practices which ensured they were on the right track to achieving their goals.
The winner of the 2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year competition, Quinn Youngman, was inspired by his Grandma to look at the dairy industry as his career.
Quinn heard about the Awards through PrimaryITO and thought it would be an excellent way to gain experience. “I love the diversity of the job and working outdoors.”
The 21-year-old works on David Dean’s 245ha, 600-cow farm in Mercer. He won $6880 in prizes.
Farm Manager Olivia McKay, aged 18 years, placed second in the Dairy Trainee competition, and won $1950 in prizes. Olivia works on Stuart and Sue McKay’s 100ha Tuakau property milking 200 cows.