Te Puke farm manager Andre Meier received national recognition for his work on Saturday night.

The 30-year-old was named Dairy Manager of the Year at the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, held in a virtual form for the first time.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a gala dinner to announce the national winners was not possible, so another way was found to celebrate success within the dairy industry. For the first time ever, the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards winners were announced on national television and aired on Country TV on Saturday night.

Judges said 30-year-old Meier stood out as a quiet yet confident person who was "very capable and connects with a wide range of people in the community".

Advertisement

Meier is farm manager for Ao Marama Farms on a 250ha Te Puke property, milking 800 cows. He won just under $22,000 in prizes and won the DeLaval Livestock Management and Meridian Leadership merit awards.

Dairy manager head judge Mark Shadwick from DairyNZ said among a strong group of finalists, Meier stood out as a proactive manager and leader who constantly seeks opportunities to grow and learn and helps others to do the same.

"Andre is an all-rounder who has established himself as a successful dairy manager whose track record speaks for itself," he said.

"He is involved in his community as chairman of the Te Puke Young Farmers, through his involvement in the A&P Show Committee, as a Federated Farmers area rep and by hosting Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology students."

Meier has a focus on animal welfare and cites once-a-day milking as a strength of the business.

"He has labour-efficient systems, highest-standard livestock records and detailed farm mating policies," judge Malcom Scott from Westpac said.

"Together with bull management and six-week in-calf rates, this has resulted in industry-leading reproduction performance."

Subscribe to Premium

The dairy manager judges were impressed by the calibre of all the finalists and their focus on the work/life balance of their team. There was an overall theme of teamwork and unity of the workforce and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Advertisement

The finalists all recognised the importance of education and were growing not just in their appreciation and understanding of what happens on-farm, but what occurs off-farm as well.

"They want their work/life balance more than profit," judge Annalize du Plessis, of Dipton, said.

The Dairy Manager runner-up was Paul Mercer of Manawatu, who won the LIC Interview and Ravensdown Feed Management merit awards and $11,410 in prizes.

Third place was Daisy Higgs, 24, of Waikato who won almost $8000 in prizes and the DairyNZ Employee Engagement merit award.

Nick and Rosemarie Bertram, of Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa, were named the 2020 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year. Photo / Supplied
Nick and Rosemarie Bertram, of Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa, were named the 2020 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year. Photo / Supplied

Nick and Rosemarie Bertram, of Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa, were named the 2020 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year.

Share Farmer head judge Jacqui Groves, of Westpac, said the Bertrams impressed the judges by remaining true to their vision, their mission and values in life. "They were high achievers in all areas."

Advertisement

Listen to Rowena Duncum interview Nick and Rose Bertram on The Country below:

Nick and Rose, aged 33 and 27 respectively, are 50/50 sharemilkers on Barry and Carol McNeil's 150ha, 440-cow Woodville property.

Nick won the 2014 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and was runner-up in the Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa Share Farmer category last year. He and Rosemarie believe the Awards programme has opened many doors and job opportunities for them.

To win the national title and just over $52,000 in prizes, Nick and Rosemarie demonstrated strengths in pasture management, leadership, business and communication. They also won four merit awards: the Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award, the Federated Farmers Leadership Award, the DeLaval Interview Award and the Westpac Business Performance Award.

2020 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year:

Winner:

Nicholas & Rosemarie Bertram, Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa

Runner-up:

Advertisement

Sarah & Aidan Stevenson, Waikato

Third:

Samuel & Karen Bennett, Southland/Otago

DairyNZ Human Resources Award:

Sarah & Aidan Stevenson

Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award:

Advertisement

David Noble & Katy Jones

Federated Farmers Leadership Award:

Nicholas & Rosemarie Bertram

Honda Farm Safety, Health & Biosecurity Award:

Sarah & Aidan Stevenson

LIC Recording & Productivity Award:

Advertisement

Simon & Natasha Wilkes

Meridian Farm Environment Award:

Samuel & Karen Bennett

Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award:

Nicholas & Rosemarie Bertram

Westpac Business Performance Award:

Advertisement

Nicholas & Rosemarie Bertram

DeLaval Interview Award:

Nicholas & Rosemarie Bertram

2020 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year:

Winner:

Andre Meier, Bay of Plenty

Runner-up:

Advertisement

Paul Mercer, Manawatu

Third:

Daisy Higgs, Waikato

DairyNZ Employee Engagement Award:

Daisy Higgs

DeLaval Livestock Management Award:

Advertisement

Andre Meier

Fonterra Dairy Management Award:

Krishna Dhakal

LIC Interview Award:

Paul Mercer

Meridian Leadership Award:

Advertisement

Andre Meier

PrimaryITO Power Play Award:

Chance Church

Ravensdown Feed Management Award:

Paul Mercer

Westpac Personal Planning & Financial Management Award:

Advertisement

Stephen Smyllie

2020 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year:

Winner:

Grace Gibberd, Waikato

Runner-up:

Sam Dodd, Taranaki

Third:

Advertisement

Tom Quinn, Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa

DairyNZ Practical Skills Award:

Grace Gibberd

Federated Farmers Farming Knowledge Award:

Grace Gibberd

DeLaval Communication & Engagement Award:

Advertisement

Sam Dodd

Best Video Award presented by Streamliner:

Lucy Morgan

Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award: Nick and Nicky Dawson, Napier