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2019 Northland Dairy Industry Award Winners Living The Rural Life Dream

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2019 Northland Dairy Industry Award Winners Living The Rural Life Dream

07 March 2019

The 2019 Northland Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners realised while studying at university that the office life wasn’t for them, so they made the decision to chase the New Zealand rural life dream and haven’t looked back.

Colin and Isabella Beazley were named the 2019 Northland Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at Toll Stadium in Whangarei last night, and won $7,927 in prizes plus four merit awards. The other major winners were the 2019 Northland Dairy Manager of the Year Lorraine Ferreira, and the 2019 Northland Dairy Trainee of the Year, Daniel Waterhouse.

The Beazleys have entered the Awards twice previously and were third placegetters last year in the same category. They believe in the Awards programme as a learning platform to network, benchmark themselves against others in the industry and learn more about themselves personally and their business.

The couple believe their strengths lie in the flexibility of a split-calving system. “This allows us to keep more control of our costs and ensure workload stability,” explains Colin.

“Another strength is our family support,” says Isabella. “They are always there to help us out if and when we need it.”

The Beazleys, both aged 31, are 50/50 Sharemilkers for Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones milking 330 cows on the 163ha Wellsford property.

The couple say are proud to have overcome any challenges they have faced in their career to date, but they are most proud of raising their children Erin, aged 7 and Dayton, aged 2 in the rural lifestyle. “They absolutely love it and they don’t miss out on time with us.”

Time off-farm and a balanced lifestyle is important for the family, who play tag rugby, hockey and enjoy the lifestyle that living near the beach gives them.

“We just try to be a happy-go-lucky couple who always see the positives in everything.”

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

Runners-up in the Northland Share Farmer of the Year competition were first-time entrants Charlie and Emma Adair who won $3,479 in prizes plus two merit awards.

The Whangarei Contract Milkers work on Dean Adams’ 275ha property, milking 850 cows, and entered the Awards to analyse their business and find opportunities for improvement. “We’ve always been extremely passionate about the dairy industry and want to work towards being leaders within it,” say the couple.

Charlie, who holds a Diploma of Agriculture (UK), grew up on the family farm in the UK which he began managing upon leaving school in 2011. He and Emma emigrated to New Zealand in 2015, where Charlie obtained a 2IC position in Rotorua, before shifting to a management position in the 2016/17 season on the current farm, for Puketitoi Investments.

“We were granted residency in January 2018 which allowed us to become self-employed and begin contract milking for Puketitoi Investments in May 2018.”

Moving to a new country with no family close and finding work with little New Zealand experience has proved challenging at times for the couple, as was slaughtering 65 animals to M Bovis (that all proved negative).

Amongst the challenges, there have also been successes. “We are proud of the rate of equity grown our business has made over 2 years, the quality of stock from our milkers right through to our young stock and that we’ve increased farm production from 260,000KGMS to the target of 340,000KGMS,” they say.

Third place in the 2019 Northland Share Farmer category went to Matthew and Kourtne Snedden who are Contract Milkers on Sue and Scott Narbey’s 146ha Helensville property, milking 400 cows. They won $2,627 in prizes and one merit award.

Scott was the region’s Dairy Trainee winner in 2014 and together with his wife Sue, is proud of the sustainable and growing business model they have created. “One of our strengths is the slow and steady growth utilising investment in other sectors to spread risk,” he says. “This allows a solid platform from which to increase our operations.”

“We’re really proud we’ve survived wet winters and drought, as well as the major mental health toll that a high-stress role brings.”

Winner of the 2019 Northland Dairy Manager of the Year competition is 31-year-old Lorraine Ferreira, who also entered as a Dairy Trainee and credits the Awards programme for preparing her for answering job interview questions well when under pressure. She won $6,400 in prizes and four merit awards.

Lorraine began farming after completing a Bachelor of Physical Education from Otago University. “I wanted to work for a year after completing my degree to save, however I ended up not working in the field I studied,” she explains.

“I love chasing good results and am currently studying towards a Diploma in Agribusiness,” says Lorraine. “I’m proud that I’ve achieved A+ grades in the Diploma whilst caring for a one-year-old, and still achieving high standards in my role running Northland Fonterra farms.”

Lorraine began relief milking whilst still at high school, after moving to New Zealand from Zimbabwe at age 15. Future farming goals include running a successful large-scale, multi-farm operation. She is currently Farms Manager on Fonterra Co-Operative Group’s 260ha Hikurangi farm, milking 400 cows.

Kokopu Farm manager Stuart McGregor, placed second in the Dairy Manager category, winning $1,954 in prizes and two merit awards. Stuart works on Kerry and Megan Chestnut’s 340-cow, 110ha property.

A furniture maker by trade, Stuart (34), spent 10 years building the interiors of superyachts all over the world. Now, he enjoys the lifestyle and challenges farming presents. “I love being outdoors and working with animals.”

Third in the Dairy Manager Competition was Farm Manager Simon Robinson, who won $1,525 in prizes and one merit award. Simon (36) works on Tapora Trust’s Wellsford 750-cow, 270ha property and enjoys the discipline and consistency of farm work. “I enjoy working outdoors with the animals and getting the most out of the day.”

Simon is proud of the way he has faced challenges such as farming through monsoons and droughts and managing rapidly fluctuating growth and environment, and celebrates his successes such as getting his current herd’s M/T rate from 30% down to 8%.

“I really enjoy getting off-farm and I love fishing – I launch my boat on the mighty Kaipara just 1.5kms from our house.”

The Northland Dairy Trainee of the year is 23-year-old Daniel Waterhouse, who is Farm Assistant on
Brian Jackson’s 700-cow, 550ha Dargaville property. He won $5,550 in prizes and three merit awards.

“I entered the Awards to overcome being shy and scared of public speaking,” says Daniel. “I wanted to improve my presentation skills for interviews and learn more about the dairy industry.”

Daniel is currently studying towards PrimaryITO Level 3, and aims to complete as many farming courses as possible. “I love being outdoors, working with animals and enjoy different challenges,” he says. “My aim is to climb the ranks within the dairy industry, with herd and farm ownership the ultimate goal.”

Northland Dairy Trainee Runner-up is Poutama Toto who is currently Farm Assistant on Terrence and Suzzane Brocx’s 450-cow, 171ha property at Okaihau.

The 21-year-old chose farming because he enjoys being hands-on, working outdoors and hard work.

Tipene Hape was third. The 23-year-old is a Farm Assistant on Kevin Sidwell’s 190ha Kaiwaka farm, milking 425 cows. He won $1,250 in prizes and one merit award.

The Northland Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on 28 March 2019 at 137 Shepherd Road, Wellsford where Northland Share Farmers of the Year, Colin and Isabella Beazley sharemilk, beginning at 10.30am. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Lorraine Ferreira and Dairy Trainee of the Year, Daniel Waterhouse. 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 – Charlie and Emma Adair
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award - Colin and Isabella Beazley
• Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Matthew and Kortne Snedden
• Honda Farm Safety, Health and Biosecurity Award – Colin and Isabella Beazley
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award - Colin and Isabella Beazley
• Meridian Farm Environment Award – Jared Dean
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Charlie and Emma Adair
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Colin and Isabella Beazley

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
• Whitelaw Weber Most Promising Entrant Award – Jared Sione Lauaki
• Webb Ross McNab Kilpatrick Employee Engagement Award – Simon Robinson
• Mark Cromie Motor Group Leadership Award – Lorraine Ferreira
• Pioneer Brand Products NZ Feed Management Award – Stuart McGregor
• DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Lorraine Ferreira
• Fonterra Dairy Management Award – Lorraine Ferreira
• PrimaryITO Power Play Award – Jared Sione Lauaki
• Westpac Personal Planning and Financial Management Award – Lorraine Ferreira

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• Bryant Tractors 1983 Ltd Most Promising Entrant Award – Jessica McIeish
• Northland Field Days Farming Knowledge Award – Daniel Waterhouse
• Building & Fire Services (2008) Ltd Community & Industry Involvement Award – Daniel Waterhouse
• 2019 Northland DIA Communication & Engagement Award – Tipene Hape
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Daniel Waterhouse