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2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards winners plan for success

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2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards winners plan for success

09 March 2017

The 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners have a clear vision of where they are headed, and a plan to make it happen.

Fraser and Amber Carpenter are both very goal-orientated and driven. “We have a clear vision of our future goals and work to set smaller goals to help us achieve our big-picture plans,” they say.

The couple were named the 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at the Pukekohe Indian Hall last night, and won $12,200 in prizes. The other major winners were the 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year Rachael Foy, and the 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year, Alex Voysey.

The Carpenters say entering the Awards has always been a goal, which they are pleased to have now achieved. “The learning and development that these awards give you to better understand your business is an opportunity in itself,” says Amber (33). “The awards have also opened up networking opportunities with rural professionals and valuable members of the community which can only help us develop our business in the future.”

Fraser (32) grew up on a dairy farm and is a qualified mechanic. Since leaving the automotive industry to pursue a career in dairy farming, he has completed the PrimaryITO National Certificates in Dairy Farming and Agribusiness Management.

Amber has a Bachelor of Design and Fashion which she puts to good use as a Merchandise Manager for Cotton On NZ, and has also been working in the business a few years.

The couple are in their second season 50/50 sharemilking on Fraser Mansell’s 66.5ha Papakura property, milking 180 cows. Future farming goals include successfully obtaining a larger sharemilking job then moving into farm ownership.

The Carpenters look forward to making the most of any opportunities and believe that the diversity in their experience and knowledge stands them in good stead for the future. “We both bring different strengths to the business and know how to utilize these in our business every day,” they say.

Runners-up in the Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmer of the Year competition were first-time entrants Vijay and Dipika Patil, who won $8,825 in prizes.

The Thames couple are contract milkers on Phil and Joan Harrison’s 184ha farm, where they milk 500 cows.

Originally from India, Vijay (35) holds a Masters in Agriculture (India) and completed further agriculture study at Waiariki in Rotorua upon arriving in New Zealand in 2008. Currently in his seventh season in the dairy industry, Vijay has progressed from trainee through to contract milker, and would like to begin to build his herd, ready for the next step. “We would like to look for a share milking job with a 300-cow farm or contract milk on a big farm,” he says.

Dipika (28) holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (India), and entered the dairy industry in 2012 as a relief milker. In 2014 she began contract milking with Vijay and looks after the administration side of the business. She works part-time as a Pharmacy Technician.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, New Zealand Farm Source and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.

Winner of the 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year competition is 24-year-old Rachael Foy, who entered the awards to have her goals, achievements and weaknesses assessed. She won $8,975 in prizes.

“I have had to consolidate all my current knowledge of the farm and really assess why I do the things I do,” she says. “It’s a fantastic learning and networking opportunity.”

After graduating from Lincoln University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Agriculture, Rachael entered the dairy industry as 2IC on a 700-cow property, then moved to 2IC on a 500-cow property in the 2015/16 season. She is currently Assistant Manager on Bert and Merle Costar’s 178ha, 500-cow property in Te Kauwhata.

Rachael believes the strengths of the business lie in the very good relationships between employers and employees. “There is a strong team culture, with a focus on efficiency as well as opportunities to upskill,” she says.

“There is also a focus on animal health and welfare, aiming to keep the cows happy, well-fed and in good health. A ‘prevention rather than cure’ mindset helps us to reduce costs in this area also,” explains Rachael.

The 24-year-old would like to establish a programme to take farm animals into primary schools, allowing children who wouldn’t normally have this experience to get up close and personal with a calf or cow.

“My overall farming goal is to have an enterprise consisting of multiple farms, equity partnerships or sharemilking alongside other investments,” she says.

23-year-old Ashley des Landes, placed second in the Dairy Manager competition, winning $5,125 in prizes. The Thames farm manager is passionate about the dairy industry and enjoys the challenges of dairy farming.

“I enjoy the lifestyle of dairy farming and the ability to maintain a work life balance,” he says.

Ashley works on Neil and Glenda Gray’s 170ha, 540-cow farm and holds a long-term vision to create an entity within the dairy industry that operates within the top quartile of farms.

The winner of the 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year competition, Alexander Voysey, is passionate about farming, being outdoors and being with animals.

Alexander entered the awards to be pushed outside his comfort zone and to improve his skills.

The 23-year-old works on a 270ha, 600-cow Landcorp farm in Ngatea. He won $6,525 in prizes.

Farm Assistant Tracey Johnston, aged 25 years, placed second in the Dairy Trainee competition, and won $1,950 in przes. Tracey works on Rex and Lyn Williams’ 105ha property milking 270 cows. Luan Ford was third. The 22-year-old is 2IC on Noel Challis’ 270ha, 900-cow Ngatea farm.

The Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on 22 March 2017 at 178 Muir Road, Karaka where Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmers of the Year, Fraser and Amber Carpenter, sharemilk. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Rachael Foy and Dairy Trainee of the Year, Alex Voysey. Further details on the winners and the field day can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Share Farmer Merit Awards:

• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Vijay and Dipika Patil
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Fraser and Amber Carpenter
• Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Raelene Williams
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Vijay and Dipika Patil
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Fraser and Amber Carpenter
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Fraser and Amber Carpenter
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Fraser and Amber Carpenter
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Vijay and Dipika Patil

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:

• Campbell Tyson Most Promising New Entrant Award – Jacqui Rutherfurd and Robbie Morritt
• Blackman Spargo Rural Law Ltd Employee Engagement Award – Rachael Foy
• Franklin Vets Leadership Award – David Rawnsley
• Fonterra Farm Source Dairy Management Award – Ashley des Landes
• DeLaval Livestock Management Award - Rachael Foy
• PrimaryITO Power Play Award – David Rawnsley
• Fonterra Farm Source Feed Management Award – Ashley des Landes
• Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Rachael Foy

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:

• NRM Most Promising Entrant Award - Hayden Pearson
• Silver Fern Farms Farming Knowledge Award – Alex Voysey
• Nutrient Management Services Communication & Engagement Award – Hayden Pearson
• Keeper Life Community & Industry Involvement Award – Alex Voysey
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award - Alex Voysey