24 March 2018
The major winners in the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards are relatively new to the dairy industry and believe their success is due to their full involvement in their business.
Daniel and Paula McAtamney were announced winners of the region’s Share Farmer of the Year competition at the Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards annual awards dinner held at the Addington Raceway and Events Centre last night. The other big winners were Will Green, who was named the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, and Salem Christian, the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year.
The McAtamney’s, aged 30 and 25 years, are contract milking 1150 cows on Rob Wilson’s Rangitata Dairies’ 300ha farm in Temuka. They won $13,982 in prizes.
They entered the Awards to learn and challenge themselves. “The competition process has enabled us to analyze our system and encourage our drive for the future,” say the couple.
Prior to beginning his dairying career, Daniel was a beef, sheep and deer farmer, while Paula was nursing. They both entered the dairy industry in 2014. “We are proud of what we have learnt and achieved, given the short time we have been in the industry,” says Paula.
“We both grew up on farms and love working with animals, being outdoors and just being on the land.”
The couple see their strong partnership as a strength of their business. “We are both fully involved in the business, both on-and-off farm,” says Daniel.
“We bring a wide and varied skill set to our business which allows consistency, high quality workmanship and top performance.”
Future farming goals include farm ownership. “We enjoy learning and challenging ourselves,” say the McAtamneys.
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.
Runner-up in the Canterbury-North Otago competition went to Luke Doyle, aged 28 years, who won $5,750 in prizes.
Luke also contract milks for Rangitata Dairies on a 750-cow, 198ha property in Geraldine.
Originally from the Manawatu, Luke began relief-milking before and after school at age 12, and entered the dairy industry upon leaving school at 15. “I have always wanted to dairy farm since primary school,” he says. “I like the life-style of dairy farming and that it is very family-orientated.” He and his wife Jessica will welcome their first child in July.
He sees his financial budgeting skills as a strength in the business. “I feel I’m good at sticking to my budgets that I set for myself.”
“I had a tight budget for the first two seasons, and learnt to be creative to get through deficits,” says Luke. “I quickly learnt the importance of a good team.”
Luke credits his team as a solid foundation of the business. “We work well together to achieve the goals we have set.”
Future farming goals include contract milking a larger or second dairy farm, looking towards an equity partnership or 50:50 sharemilking role.
Third place went to Glenn Jones and Sarah Brett, who say the feedback from the Award judges and other rural professionals has been hugely beneficial. “As first year sharemilkers, it was a fantastic opportunity to analyse and familiarise ourselves with every aspect of our business, and plan for the future,” say the couple. They won $3,955 in prizes.
The couple are 50:50 sharemikers for The Proprietors of Te Rakaia Incorporation 175ha farm at Darfield, where they milk 650 cows.
The couple see their combined skill set as one of their strengths. “Sarah is in-charge of the administration side; accounts, payroll, human resources and health and safety, while I am hands-on with the cows, grass and people,” says Glenn.
“We’ve built a sustainable business model which has a high staff retention and positive team culture, great pasture utilisation and an excellent herd of cows.”
The winner of the 2018 Canterbury- North Otago Dairy Manager of the Year competition spent three years working on his family’s dairy, beef, sheep and cropping farm in the UK, before entering the New Zealand dairy industry three years ago.
William Green won $6,825 in prizes and is the farm manager for Kieran and Leonie Guiney on their 240ha, 830-cow farm at Fairlie.
“The Awards process have enabled me to benchmark myself against the best in the industry,” he says.
Will (28) holds a Degree in Agriculture from Harper Adams University and believes pasture utilization is a strength of his business. “We walk weekly as a whole team and focus on consistent 1500 residuals,” he says. “We stick to a strict feed budget and rotation length planner in the spring and autumn.”
Will aims to continue to progress through the dairy industry with farm ownership the ultimate goal. “Dairy farming is a great tool to build capital to make your dreams come true.”
Leeston farm manager Jason DeBoo, aged 29 years, was second in the Dairy Manager competition, winning $3,375 in prizes.
Currently working for Marv and Jane Pangborn on their 144ha property, milking 525 cows, Jason believes an efficient farm layout is a positive aspect of the business. “We also perform in the top 25% financially and 100% in Dairy Base for our group.”
Jason is passionate about once-a-day milking, and has successfully adapted hybrid milking systems whilst increasing production. “Dairy farming is a great lifestyle, enabling you to live and work from home whilst building a business and career pathway,” he says. “It’s a great way for a family to grow up.”
Bankside farm manager Russ Young placed third and won $2,125 in prizes. Russ works for Theland Purata Farm Group on a 404ha farm, milking 1220 cows.
Russ has enjoyed seeing his team members develop and move into management roles themselves. “We have access to good people, and the scale of the business means we have the ability to do things differently across multiple farms.”
The 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year, Salem Christian was runner-up in the 2017 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Trainee competition and says the feedback from judges was invaluable.
The 20-year-old is in his third season in the dairy industry and is Assistant Manager on a 750-cow, 198ha property at Temuka. Salem won $6,630 in prizes.
Salem enjoys the challenges of farming and says it’s a great lifestyle. Future farming goals include farm ownership.
Runner-up in the Dairy Trainee competition was 22-year-old Bankside 2IC Sarah Bunn, who won $1,625 in prizes. Sarah currently works for the Theland Purata Farm Group on their 438ha, 1250-cow farm.
The first-time entrant entered the Awards because of the positive feedback from previous contestants across all three categories. “These are people in the industry who I really respect and they have inspired me to test and grow my own ability by entering the competition.”
“My biggest success is becoming 2IC in under three years through hard work and dedication,” says Sarah. “My future farm goals are to be a farm manager by the 2021/22 season and from there progress to contract milking.”
Third place in the Dairy Trainee competition went to 21-year-old Herd Manager Ryan Dickey who won $1,250 in prizes. He works for Theland Purata Farm Group on the 600ha, 2000-cow farm in Rakaia.
The Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards winners field day will be held on April 17 at 131 Rangitata Island Road Temuka where Share Farmers of the Year Daniel and Paula McAtamney, contract milk. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Will Green, and Dairy Trainee of the Year, Salem Christian. 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 – Grant & Lucy Tremewan
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Luke Doyle
• Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Daniel & Paula McAtamney
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Glenn Jones & Sarah Brett
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Daniel & Paula McAtamney
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Daniel & Paula McAtamney
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Daniel & Paula McAtamney
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Daniel & Paula McAtamney
Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
• NZ Funds Private Wealth Most Promising Entrant Award - Sacha McDougall
• Craigmore Farming Employee Engagement Award- Jason DeBoo
• VetEnt Feed Management Award – Jason DeBoo
• TH Enterprises Ltd Leadership Award – Will Green
• Fonterra Farm Source Dairy Management Award – Sacha McDougall
• DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Sameer Nimbalkar
• PrimaryITO Power Play Award – Russ Young
• Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Will Green
Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• Dairy Holdings Lt Most Promising Entrant – Kate Reynolds
• Ngāi Tahu Farming Farming Knowledge Award – Sarah Bunn
• Alexanders Communication & Engagement Award – Salem Christian
• FarmRight Ltd Community & Industry Involvement Award – Sarah Bunn
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Salem Christian