A number of local dairy farmers will be cheering this morning after taking out top awards at the Central Plateau Dairy Industry Awards.
First-time entrants David Noble and Katy Jones, who sharemilk at a property in Horohoro, took out the 2020 Central Plateau Share Farmer of the Year award at last night's annual awards ceremony at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua.
The couple 50/50 sharemilk 275 cows on Andrew and Hazel Kusabs' 94ha Horohoro property and won $15,180 in prizes and two merit awards. They entered the awards to learn more about the dairy business, as well as networking with like-minded farmers
The couple said dairy farming was all they had ever wanted to do. "It's all that I know," Noble said.
Runner-up in the Central Plateau Share Farmer of the Year competition was local man Maurice Bryant who won $6850 in prizes and two merit awards.
The 26-year-old was 50/50 sharemilking on the Andrew and Hazel Kusabs' 70ha property at Ngakuru, milking 220 cows.
"I enjoy the whole experience of the awards and gaining a feel for the process," Bryant said.
"It's an excellent opportunity to see how far I have come."
The third placegetters in the 2020 Central Plateau Share Farmer category were Anthony and Danelle Kiff, who are contract milkers on the Tauhara North No 2 Trust 195ha, 607-cow Ngakuru property.
The winner of the 2020 Central Plateau Dairy Manager of the Year competition was Chance Church.
The 32-year-old moved from dry stock farming to the dairy industry in 2007 and was in his fourth season managing Richard Maxwell's 378ha, 1250 cow farm at Taupō.
"I grew up around farming and feel it's a good career to grow and support my family. I love the outdoors, so farming fits with my lifestyle,
"We are a classic New Zealand family that works hard and makes the most of life."
The 2020 Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year went to Emily Cooper, who works at a Rotorua farm, milking 671 cows.
The 23-year-old began relief milking and calf-rearing for her parents while at university studying for her Bachelor of Agricommerce.
"I love that I learn something new every day and there is high job satisfaction."
Cooper believed that a shortage of staff within the dairy industry and language barriers between staff on-farm had been one of her biggest challenges to overcome.
The Central Plateau Dairy Industry Awards winners field day will be held on March 26 in Horohoro.
Share Farmer Merit Awards:
· DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Anthony and Danelle Kiff
· Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Gerard and Marcelle Van Der Mark
· Federated Farmers Leadership Awards – Anthony and Danelle Kiff
· Honda Farm Safety, Health and Biosecurity Award – Anthony and Danelle Kiff
· LIC Recording and Productivity Award – David Noble and Katy Jones
· Meridian Farm Environment Award – Maurice Bryant
· Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – David Noble and Katy Jones
· Westpac Business Performance Award – Maurice Bryant
Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
· Vetora BOP Employee Engagement Award – Chance Church
· I.S. Dam Lining Ltd Leadership Award – Ashley Morgan
· Castlegate James NZ Feed Management Award – Alexandra Lond
· DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Alexandra Lond
· Fonterra Dairy Management Award – Chance Church
· PrimaryITO Power Play Award – Chance Church
· Westpac Personal Planning and Financial Management Award – Chance Church
Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
· Stretton & Co Ltd Most Promising Entrant Award – Rhys Prentice
· T H Enterprises LTD Farming Knowledge Award – Georgia Cairns
· Perrin Ag Consultants Ltd Community & Industry Involvement Awards – Shannon Wood
· Rotorua Lakes Council Communication and Engagement Award – Shivpreet Arora
· DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Ben Purua