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2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards winners announced

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2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards winners announced

10 March 2018

The 2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners are first-time entrants who grew up on farms in different countries and knew they wanted the same experience for their children.

Chris and Sally Guy have a clear vision of the future and believe farming offers a great lifestyle for families. “We also feel that the industry has a great path for progression if you are willing to work towards your goals,” they say.

The couple were named the 2018 Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at the Pukekohe Indian Hall last night, and won 12364.60 in prizes. The other major winners were the 2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year Terence Potter, and the 2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year, Quinn Youngman.

The Guys were encouraged to enter by previous entrants. “This is our second season as 50:50 Sharemilkers and we wanted to develop our knowledge in business management,” says Sally.

Chris (31) grew up on a dairy farm in New Zealand and is a qualified carpenter. He has a Diploma in Landscaping, Certificate 3 Carpentry and Level 4 Primary ITO courses. He was working as a builder in Australia when he met Sally (35), a secondary school teacher who grew up on a sheep and beef station in rural NSW.

“Chris always wanted to return to New Zealand and pursue a career in dairying,” says Sally. “Working and living on the farm means that we get to see each other throughout the day and allows more time for him to spend with our young son, Hunter,” says Sally.

The couple are in their second season 50/50 sharemilking on Allan Guy’s 80ha Papakura property, milking 200 cows. Future farming goals include increasing their herd size and moving into a larger job, continuing to decrease their debt and build their equity, and obtaining farm ownership.

The Guys believe the ability to rear extra stock on their large lease blocks enable them to grow their equity faster. “We have excellent family support and being on a family-run farm means we have the ability to have more input into decisions that are made on farm,” explains Chris.

The couple are proud that in their first season on the farm they achieved record production and reared 175 weaners alone and as sole operators. “It was a huge effort and we had a young baby at the time, with Sally a long distance from her family,” says Chris. “We are finding our feet now.”

Runners-up in the Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmer of the Year competition were Ethan and Sarah Koch, (both aged 27), who also have backgrounds in building and teaching.

The couple are 50:50 sharemilkers on Laurie and Ingrid Bylsma’s 85ha Tuakau farm, milking 210 cows. They won $3354 in prizes.

Ethan and Sarah chose to leave their respective careers 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 say.

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 say. “We want to continue to grow our equity so that we are in a position to purchase our own farm.”

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.

2018 Auckland Hauraki Share Farmer third placegetters were Vijay and Dipika Patil, who won $6,154 in prizes.

The Thames couple were runners-up in 2017 Auckland Hauraki Share Farmer competition and contract milkers on Phil and Joan Harrison’s 185ha farm, where they milk 525 cows.

Originally from India, Vijay (36) holds a Masters in Agriculture (India) and completed further agriculture study at Waiariki in Rotorua upon arriving in New Zealand in 2008.

Vijay has progressed from trainee through to contract milker, and believes entering the awards is an opportunity to learn and fine-tune their business. “We can put ourselves out there, get exposure in the industry and meet positive and like-minded people,” he says.

Their ultimate goal is farm ownership, and they continually look for different investment opportunities to help them achieve that goal.

Dipika (29) holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (India), and entered the dairy industry in 2012 as a relief milker. She is currently studying towards a Diploma in Agribusiness Management.

The couple have overcome the challenges of immigrating to New Zealand, such as settling into a new environment, culture and career, through being part of such a supportive industry. “The New Zealand farming industry is so supportive and friendly – no one keeps secrets, everyone is willing to share their knowledge and experiences,” they say.

Winner of the 2018 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year competition is 24-year-old Terence Potter, who entered the awards to test his current skill level and receive feedback from judges that would benefit his career. “I met some interesting people and made some friends along the way,” he says. He won $8,975 in prizes.

Terence decided from an early age that the outside life was for him, and loves waking up every day to a new challenge and going to work with new goals in mind.

“I cherish the fact that farming in New Zealand has been around for many decades, and will be for decades to come,” he says. “I will be part of the future of farming.”

Terence has progressed through the industry and is currently Farm Manager on Graham and Lorraine Bell’s 325ha, 1100-cow property in Ngatea.

Terence believes his biggest accomplishment has been running the large-scale business with three staff. “I’m really proud that with a fair amount of dedication and goal planning I’ve succeeded in getting this amazing position.”

“The farm is family owned and operated and the farm owners are very supportive. We work together as a team and they take the time to get to know us and our interests outside of work,” he says.

The 24-year-old says running the farm as basically an all-grass system has taught him an alternative way to farm. “You have to use what you have got, and it’s something that I will do in the future if I have the opportunity.”

Terence enjoys fishing and plays lock for Ngatea Rugby club. He is Chairman of the Hauraki Young Farmers Club.

23-year-old Oliver Milne, placed second in the Dairy Manager competition, winning $3,100 in prizes. The Karaka Assistant Manager place 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 says.

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 $1,525 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 $6,880 in prizes.

Farm Manager Olivia McKay, aged 18 years, placed second in the Dairy Trainee competition, and won $1,950 in prizes. Olivia works on Stuart and Sue McKay’s 100ha Tuakau property milking 200 cows. Kaz Wallace was third. The 24-year-old is Farm Assistant on Mark McWatters 77ha, 217-cow Ngatea farm.

The Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on 04 April 2018 at 540 Karaka Road, Papakura where Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmers of the Year, Chris and Sally Guy, sharemilk. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Terence Potter and Dairy Trainee of the Year, Quinn Youngman. 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 – Chris and Sally Guy
• Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Raelene Williams
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Vijay and Dipika Patil
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Ethan and Sarah Koch
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Chris and Sally Guy
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Chris and Sally Guy
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Vijay and Dipika Patil

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:

• NRM Feed Management Award – Terence Potter
• BlackmanSpargo Rural Law Ltd Employee Engagement Award – Oliver Milne
• Franklin Vets Leadership Award – Terence Potter
• Fonterra Farm Source Dairy Management Award – Jacqui Rutherfurd & Robbie Morritt
• DeLaval Livestock Management Award - Oliver Milne
• PrimaryITO Power Play Award – Terence Potter
• Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Oliver Milne

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:

• Farming Knowledge Award - Rebecca Cassidy
• Most Promising Entrant Award - Grace Campbell
• Keeper Life Communication & Engagement Award – Quinn Youngman
• Campbell Tyson Ltd Community & Industry Involvement Award – Olivia McKay
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award - Quinn Youngman