The 2019 Northland Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners realised while studying at university that office life wasn't for them, so they decided 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 Whangārei last Thursday, winning $7927 in prizes plus four merit awards.
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 had entered the awards twice previously and were third placegetters last year in the same category.
The couple believe their strengths lie in the flexibility of a split-calving system which allows them to control costs and ensure workload stability.
The Beazleys, both aged 31, are 50:50 sharemilkers for Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones, milking 330 cows on 163ha at Wellsford.
The couple say they 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, 7, and Dayton, 2, in the country. 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.
Runners-up in the Northland Share Farmer of the Year competition were first-time entrants Charlie and Emma Adair who won $3479 in prizes plus two merit awards.
The Adairs are contract milkers for Puketitoi Investments on Dean Adams' 275ha Whangārei property, milking 850 cows. Charlie, who holds a Diploma of Agriculture (UK), grew up on the family farm in the UK which he began managing after leaving school in 2011.
He and Emma emigrated to New Zealand in 2015 and Charlie obtained a 2IC position in Rotorua before shifting in the 2016/17 season to Whangārei, where farm production has increased from 260,000kgMS to 340,000kgMS since their arrival.
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 $2627 in prizes and one merit award. Matthew was the region's dairy trainee winner in 2014.
Winner of the 2019 Northland Dairy Manager competition was Lorraine Ferreira, 31, who also entered as a dairy trainee. She won $6400 in prizes and four merit awards.
Lorraine began relief milking while still at high school, after moving to New Zealand from Zimbabwe at age 15. She began farming after completing a bachelor of physical education degree at Otago University and is now studying toward a diploma in agribusiness while caring for a 1-year-old and still achieving high standards in her role managing Fonterra's 260ha Hikurangi farm, milking 400 cows.
Stuart McGregor, placed second in the Dairy Manager category, winning $1954 in prizes and one merit award. He works on Kerry and Megan Chestnut's 340-cow, 110ha property at Kokopu.
A furniture maker by trade, Stuart, 34, spent 10 years building the interiors of superyachts all over the world before taking up farming.
Third in the Dairy Manager competition was Simon Robinson, 36, who won $1525 in prizes and one merit award. He works on Tapora Trust's Wellsford 750-cow, 270ha property.
The Northland Dairy Trainee is Daniel Waterhouse, 23, who is farm assistant on Brian Jackson's 700-cow, 550ha Dargaville farm. He won $5550 in prizes and three merit awards.
Dairy Trainee runner-up is Poutama Toto, 21, a farm assistant on Terrence and Suzzane Brocx's 450-cow, 171ha property at Okaihau. Tipene Hape, 23, was third. He is a farm assistant on Kevin Sidwell's 190ha Kaiwaka farm, milking 425 cows. He won $1250 in prizes and one merit award.
The Northland Dairy Industry Awards field day will begin at 10.30am on March 28 at 137 Shepherd Rd, Wellsford, where Northland Share Farmers of the Year, Colin and Isabella Beazley sharemilk. 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.
Share Farmer: Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award, Honda Farm Safety, Health and Biosecurity Award, LIC Recording and Productivity Award, Westpac Business Performance Award, Colin and Isabella Beazley; DairyNZ Human Resources Award, Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award, Charlie and Emma Adair; Federated Farmers Leadership Award, Matthew and Kortne Snedden; Meridian Farm Environment Award, Jared Dean.
Dairy Manager: Mark Cromie Motor Group Leadership Award, DeLaval Livestock Management Award, Westpac Personal Planning and Financial Management Award, Fonterra Dairy Management Award, Lorraine Ferreira; Pioneer Brand Products NZ Feed Management Award, Stuart McGregor; Webb Ross McNab Kilpatrick Employee Engagement Award, Simon Robinson; Whitelaw Weber Most Promising Entrant Award, Primary ITO Power Play Award, Jared Sione Lauaki.
Dairy Trainee: Northland Field Days Farming Knowledge Award, Building and Fire Services (2008) Ltd Community and Industry Involvement Award, DairyNZ Practical Skills Award, Daniel Waterhouse; 2019 Northland DIA Communication and Engagement Award, Tipene Hape; Bryant Tractors 1983 Ltd Most Promising Entrant Award, Jessica McIeish.
More details on the winners and the field day can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.