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The winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year title, Ben and Nicky Allomes from Woodville, are predicted to be future leaders within the dairy industry.
Head Judge and DairyNZ Consulting Officer Bill Adam says the level of leadership across the finalists was high, but the Allomes have developed their natural gift.
“Ben and Nicky lead both within and outside their business, among their staff, in their interests and in doing stuff for the benefit of the wider dairy industry at a cost to their own business.
“Other finalists were inspired by them,” Mr Adam says.
Aged just 30 years, the Allomes have purchased their first farm and currently 50% sharemilk 400 cows on 125ha for Kay Cassells. They also hold a second 230-cow 50% sharemilking position and lease a 140ha beef block. Ben Allomes is the President of the New Zealand Young Farmers.
Mr Adam says the couple, who won the Federated Farmers Leadership Merit Award, are also excellent strategic thinkers and planners.
“They had a real strategic understanding of their business and have fully grasped how to use money. They are using every cent they can get their hands on and are fully leveraging that.”
The Allomes were announced the winners at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards national awards dinner held at the Christchurch Convention Centre last night, winning $33,800 in prizes.
Ngatea sharemilkers Ciaran and Sarah Tully, representing the Auckland Hauraki region, placed second in the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition, winning $14,000 in prizes.
“They lived and breathed dairy farming and knew the drivers to get the best out of their stock and pastures,” Mr Adam says.
Third place in the competition went to Temuka sharemilkers Paul Mercer and Desiree Reid, representing the Canterbury North Otago region. They won $7000 in prizes.
Mr Adam says Mr Mercer and Ms Reid shared a passion for the industry, but it was their financial expertise that was a standout in their business.
The Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown, and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.
The New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year, Olin Greenan, representing the Waikato region, and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year, Cameron Mitchell, representing Northland, were also announced winners on the night.
Mr Greenan, aged 29, won $14,600 in prizes and is currently managing an 188ha farm milking 560 cows at Taupiri.
Head Judge and Taranaki dairy farmer Graham Robinson says Mr Greenan gave a competent presentation, had a good understanding of his financial position, articulated his farming goals well and knew how he was going to obtain them.
“Olin has a great personality, is a very good communicator and loves doing what he is doing and is obviously doing very well,” Mr Robinson says.
“He will make an extremely good ambassador for the younger generation of farmers coming through the industry.”
Second place in the New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year competition went to Glenn and Lynne Johnston, winning $5000 in prizes and representing the Southland region. Third place and $2000 in prizes went to the Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua regional winner, Arno Renes.
Mr Robinson says the three females among the 12 finalists in the farm manager competition all performed with credit.
“It is probably a sign of the times in the industry to have females doing so well and it also demonstrates the opportunities available to everyone. Certainly, the girls’ farm management was very very good and they were doing very well on the farms – they were in the bunch.”
The New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year winner Cameron Mitchell won $5500 in prizes and is currently a manager’s assistant on a 210ha farm milking 520 cows near Wellsford for former New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year Bruce and Julie Paton.
Sharemilker Merit Award Winners:
* DairyNZ Interview Award – Bryan and Tesha Gibson (Central Plateau)
* Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Stacey & Olivia Frost (Southland)
* Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Ben & Nicky Allomes (Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa)
* LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Ciaran & Sarah Tully (Auckland/Hauraki)
* Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Brock & Janine Fiske (Waikato)
* Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Ciaran & Sarah Tully
* Westpac Business Performance Award – Paul Mercer & Desiree Reid (Canterbury/North Otago)
Farm Manager Merit Award Winners:
* DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Olin Greenan (Waikato)
* Fonterra Interview Award – Olin Greenan
* RD1 Farm Management Award – Arno Renes (Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua)
* Westpac Financial Planning & Management Award – Olin Greenan
Further information on the awards can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.