A Northland couple have been crowned New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year.
It was third time lucky for Colin and Isabella Beazley when they were given the top award at the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on Saturday.
The judges of the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards said the winners are a smart, humble and practical couple who are doing very well at dairy farming on a challenging property in Northland.
In front of a capacity audience of 580 people at Wellington's TSB Arena the Beazleys were named the 2019 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year, Canterbury's Matt Redmond became the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Nicola Blowey, also from Canterbury, was announced the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.
Share Farmer head judge Kevin McKinley, from DairyNZ, says the Beazleys impressed the judges with their resilience, teamwork and attention to detail.
"They are such a great team and complement each other with their roles on farm," McKinley said.
The Beazleys, both aged 31, are 50/50 sharemilkers for Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones, milking 330 cows on the 163ha Wellsford property.
Listen to The Country's Rowena Duncum interview Isabella and Colin Beazley below:
The couple 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.
In winning the national title and $52,000 in prizes, they demonstrated strengths in pasture management, leadership, environment and health and safety. They also won four merit awards; the Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award, the Federated Farmers Leadership Award, the Honda Farm Safety, Health & Biosecurity Award and the Meridian Farm Environment Award.
Fellow Share Farmer judge Matt Richards, from Southland, says a good example of their pasture management is the way they work with the Kikuyu grass they have but are also trying to eliminate it at the same time. "They had a really good understanding of pasture and crop eaten and importance of it in terms of driving operating profit."
The judges also noted that the Beazleys weren't afraid to trial new things and were innovative around pasture species and management and their use of technology.
"Colin uses a drone to check on the cows and has even delivered a coffee by drone to a staff member working down the back of the farm," Richards said.
The Beazleys impressed the judges with their use of social media to "spread the good word about dairy farming", and their strong family values and attention to detail in all areas of their business stood out.
Visit www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz for more information on the awards and full list of winners.