The major winners in the 2021 Bay of Plenty Dairy Industry Awards, Aran and Sharleen Sealey, look forward to watching the dairy industry evolve with environmental improvements while still contributing to the New Zealand economy.
The Galatea couple were announced winners of the region's Share Farmer of the Year category at the annual awards dinner at the Awakeri Events Centre on Thursday night.
The other big winners were Hayden Goodall who was named the 2021 Bay of Plenty Dairy Manager of the Year, and Dayna Rowe, the 2021 Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year.
Aran and Sharleen are 50 per cent equity partners with Eric and Margaret Smeith, who are Sharleen's parents. They milk 420 cows on the 160ha Galatea property and won $9550 and four merit awards.
"Farming is an ideal place to raise our family and work alongside our family. We're able to utilise our skills and hobbies to benefit the farm business," Sharleen said.
Aran entered the dairy industry in 2009 after completing a course through Te Awamutu college, managing for Eric until 2013 when he and Sharleen progressed to contract milking on the same farm, and are now in an equity partnership.
Their future farming goals include continuing to build their herd, with farm ownership the ultimate goal.
"We'd like to own the farm we are raising our family on as third-generation owners," Aran said.
"Sharleen's grandfather was the original farm owner and is our inspiration during hard times. We think about what he did for our country at war and what he did for his community.
"We are grateful he chose our farm to raise his family."
Aran holds a Certificate in Dairy Farming Level 4 while Sharleen is currently studying towards a Diploma in Agribusiness Management.
Winner of the 2021 Bay of Plenty Dairy Manager of the Year category Hayden Goodall won the 2017 Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year and said the awards helped him to communicate, develop his self-esteem and self-confidence and increase his farming knowledge.
He won $8000 in prizes plus three merit awards and is farm manager for Matt Gow on his 215ha Matatā farm, milking 700 cows.
"On a relational level, the awards helped me make connections and network with other farms throughout the country and develop close connections with farmers rural professionals in my own region," Goodall said.
Prior to entering the dairy industry seven years ago, he was in a labouring job and wanted to pursue a career to create a brighter future for his family.
"I had no prior background in farming and began as a farm assistant in 2014 and progressed to 2IC over the next four years," he said.
"We left this farm to manage a 500-cow property and have found our way back to where it all started to manage this awesome property."
Dayna Rowe was named 2021 Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year and won $6000 in prizes and three merit awards. She was runner-up in the same category in 2020.
"The networking opportunities alone from entering the awards have been awesome and I believe having your name recognized in the industry and your community for positive reasons is always a good thing," she said.
"Entering also gave me a lot more confidence in my capabilities and allowed me to throw myself into the deep end which I believe has sped up the rate I've learnt things in the industry."
Growing up on the family farm in Pongakawa, Rowe spent a lot of time learning about farming and animals.
She had begun studying towards a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theatre Studies when she realised she'd rather be stomping through paddocks than treading the boards.
She is currently herd manager for Grant and Ngaire Rowe on their 289.67ha Pongakawa milking 1000 cows.
The Bay of Plenty Dairy Industry Awards winners field day will be held on April 23 at 260 Whirinaki Road, Galatea S/N Fonterra 22216 where Share Farmers of the Year Aran and Sharleen Sealey are equity partners.
Also presenting at the field day will be the region's Dairy Manager of the Year Hayden Goodall and Dairy Trainee of the Year Dayna Rowe.
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 – Jordyn Crouch and Isaac Algar
· Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Aran and Sharleen Sealey
· Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Jordyn Crouch and Isaac Algar
· Honda Farm Safety, Health and Biosecurity Award – Aran and Sharleen Sealey
· LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Aran and Sharleen Sealey
· Meridian Farm Environment Award – Aran and Sharleen Sealey
· Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Josh and Aleshia MacDonald
· Westpac Business Performance Award – Jordyn Crouch and Isaac Algar
Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
· Bay of Plenty DIA Most Promising Entrant – Brendan Teka
· BlackmanSpargo Rural Law Ltd Employee Engagement Award – Hayden Goodall
· The Business Results Group Ltd t/a Stem Rural Accountants Leadership Award – Hayden Purvis
· Vetora Bay of Plenty Feed Management Award – Hayden Purvis
· DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Hayden Goodall
· Fonterra Dairy Management Award – Thomas Houston
· MyMilk Power Play Award – Thomas Houston
· Westpac Personal Planning & Financial Management Award – Hayden Goodall
Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
· Bay of Plenty DIA Most Promising Entrant Award – Rachel Billinghurst
· King Farm Services Ltd Farming Knowledge Award – Dayna Rowe
· Archway Group Ltd Community & Industry Involvement Award – Dayna Rowe
· I.S Dam Lining Communication & Engagement Award – Dayna Rowe
· DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Georgia O'Hanlon