Persistence key to success in Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards

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Persistence key to success in Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards

01 March 2017

The 2017 Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners have proven that persistence and resilience are the keys to success, winning the title on their fifth attempt.

Jarrod and Nikki Greenwood say that entering the dairy industry awards has given them a better understanding of their business. “The judges’ feedback has helped us to improve and strengthen our farming operation. It got us really digging into our business and assessing all of our policies and procedures, finding areas that need tweaking and improving,” say the couple.

The couple were named the 2017 Manawatu Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at the Awapuni Racecourse in Palmerston North last night, and won $7,000 in prizes. The other major winners were the 2017 Manawatu Dairy Manager of the Year Hayley Hoogendyk, and the 2017 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year, Stephanie Walker.

When not working on the farm, the Greenwoods remain active and Jarrod (33) can be found working up a sweat muay thai kickboxing, whilst Nikki is passionate about horse-riding. The Greenwoods also have four children aged from two to 11 years old.

The Greenwoods currently milk 320 cows on a 109ha Palmerston North property, owned by Ian Strahan. Jarrod has been dairy farming since 16 years old, when he studied through land-based training to gain his first farm assistant position. “I’ve worked my way up the industry ladder, progressing into management and then contract/low order sharemilking positions,” he says.

The couple say they have built a strong foundation in human resources, and aim to provide a safe and enjoyable work environment. “We believe in upskilling and developing our team members and highly value our team and their input into the farm,“ says Nikki (30). “We love to see our staff members progress and succeed in the industry.”

The Greenwoods believe that growing and utilizing high quality pasture is their key focus area. “Doing the basics right is fundamental to the success of our business,” they say.

Runners-up in the Manawatu Share Farmer of the Year competition were previous winners of the 2013 Manawatu Farm Manager competition Michael and Raewyn Hills who won $4,125 in prizes.

“We first entered the Farm Manager competition in 2012, and it made us step back and understand our roles on the farm, why we did things the way we did and how we could do them better,” say the Hills. “Entering the Manawatu Share Farmer for 2017 follows three years of business development and growth and has allowed us to review where we are at and what our next steps will be.”

Potentially, those next steps for the Hills will be debt reduction to allow for future growth when opportunities arise and increasing per cow production and productivity whilst remaining financially viable. “We’d also like to enter a land-owning equity partnership,” they say.

The 31 and 30-year-old are in a 35% equity partnership with Burnside Farms Ltd, milking 760 cows on Brian, Alison Hills and Peter Hills Feilding farm. They believe the foundation of their business lies in strong animal husbandry and pasture management skills with the ability to make timely decisions. “We have also built strong support networks and good working relationships with service providers,” they say.

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.

Women were represented strongly in the 2017 Manawatu Dairy Manager of the Year competition, achieving both first and second places, with 28-year-old Hayley Hoogendyk named the winner.

Miss Hoogendyk was the 2014 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year, and says that win was a great way to realize the skills she had, and what she needed to learn more about. “Dairy Manager got me thinking about my farm, and when I compared my farms KPIs to the national targets, I was able to identify areas we needed to improve and how we could do it,” she says.

The former Events Manager for Massey University Student Association believes that a strong team culture between herself, owners and staff helps the farm meet its potential and targets. Her Bachelor of Business Studies has given her the skills to manage multiple income streams from the farm, which help to maintain income when the milk payout is lower. She is currently halfway through studying towards the Level 5 Diploma with PrimaryITO. She won $4,250 in prizes.

Miss Hoogendyk is the farm manager for Te Paratai Farms Ltd, on Roger & Noelene Taylor and Nigel Taylors 220ha, 600 cow property in Rongotea. “I would like to progress to Lower Order Sharemilking in June, 2019 and continue to increase the size of my herd,” she says.

“Ultimately, I see myself overseeing multiple farms, and employing young people, to give them their first opportunity,” continues Ms Hoogendyk. “I would also like to have first-time managers and contract milkers so I can support them and help them learn and embrace new opportunities. Human Resources is an area I really enjoy.”

23-year-old Tiakitahuna farm manager Paul Mercer, placed second in the Dairy Manager competition, winning $2,200 in prizes. Mr Mercer is 2IC on Ian Strahn’s 320-cow, 109ha property. He was a previous entrant in the 2015 Dairy Trainee competition and aims to become a leader and role model within the dairy industry.

Third in the Dairy Manager Competition was Renee Washington, who won $1,525 in prizes. Miss Washington is herd manager on Andrew Hoggard’s Kiwitea property and wants to continue to build her knowledge of the industry and continue to develop her people management skills.

Women featured also strongly in the 2017 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year competition, with both the winner and runner-up spots being won by young women.

The 2017 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year is 22-year-old Stephanie Walker, who is a farm assistant on a Foxton Landcorp Farming Ltd farm. She won $5,175 in prizes.

Miss Walker began her career in the Waikato relief-milking and calf-rearing, before moving to her current position on the 281ha property, milking 840 cows. She plans to progress to a manager’s position in the next few years. “I want to continue to expand my knowledge of farming, and progress my career in the industry,” she says.

2IC-In-Training Emma Kearins, aged 19 years, is another young woman to watch within the dairy industry, placing second in the Dairy Trainee competition, and winning $1,300 in prizes. Miss Kearins works on Hamish Campbell’s Rongotea property. Joel Peterson, was third. The 25-year-old is 2IC on John McKenzie’s 160ha Shannon farm.

The Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on 21 March 2017 at 1450 Rangiotu Road, RD7, Palmerston North where Manawatu Share Farmers of the Year, Jarrod and Nikki Greenwood, contract milk. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Hayley Hoogendyk and Dairy Trainee of the Year, Stephanie Walker. Further details on the winners and the field day can be found at this website.

Share Farmer Merit Awards:
• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Raewyn and Michael Hills
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Raewyn and Michael Hills
• Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Jarrod and Nikki Greenwood
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Lisa Hicks
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Raewyn and Michael Hills
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Jarrod and Nikki Greenwood
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Jarrod and Nikki Greenwood
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Brian Underwood

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
• Naylor Lawrence and Associates Most Promising Entrant – Mel Higgens
• Fitzherbert Rowe Employee Engagement Award – Hayley Hoogendyk
• Tailorednz Ltd Leadership Award – Hayley Hoogendyk
• Fonterra Farm Source Dairy Management Award – Paul Mercer
• DeLaval Livestock Management Award - Paul Mercer
• PrimaryITO Power Play Award – Hayley Hoogendyk
• Fonterra Farm Source Feed Management Award – Paul Mercer
• Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Renee Washington

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• Totally Vets Ltd Most Promising Entrant Award - Matthew McDougall
• I.S Dam Lining Ltd Farming Knowledge Award – Stephanie Walker
• Cervus Equipment Feilding Communication & Engagement Award – Stephanie Walker
• Institute of Agriculture & Environment and Institute of Veterinary, Animals & Biomedical Sciences Community & Industry Involvement Award – Stephanie Walker
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award - Stephanie Walker