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The winners of the 2012 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition are proof that opportunities to get ahead in the dairy industry are available to those willing to work hard.
William and Sally Bosch won $14,300 in cash and prizes in taking the top award at the region’s Dairy Industry Awards celebration at the Copthorne Masterton last night.
Mr Bosch, aged just 26, has already been in the dairy industry 10 years. With wife Sally, the couple has progressed through the ranks from farm working, managing and lower order sharemilking to now be 50% sharemilking 330 cows on a 91ha Martinborough farm owned by Jenny Tucker.
With three children under five, their farming goal is to own land to support their family. “We’d also like to train and lead enthusiastic young people into the dairy industry.”
The couple says their strengths are working as a team and being willing and ready to learn.
“We like to have open communication with each other, our staff and our overseer and we enjoy participating in group days, going on business courses and just talking with like-minded people.”
They entered the awards for a second time to network and have their farm business analysed by judges.
Second place in the region’s sharemilker/equity farmer contest went to Pahiatua lower order sharemilkers Shaun and Kate Mitchell, who won $7700 in cash and prizes, and third went to Craig and Angela Rosacker, 50% sharemilkers from Norsewood. The Rosackers won $2600 in prizes.
The Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner AgITO.
Farm Managers of the Year, Dean and Rochelle Jones, are contract milking a herd of 615 cows for Bruce and Tina Patrick near Masterton. They won prizes worth $9600.
The couple is both aged 39 and entered the dairy industry nine years ago, with their previous positions being 50% sharemilking in the Waikato and at Eketahuna.
Their goal is to stay in their current position for five years, continually improving production and business performance.
“We think our animal welfare is one of our strengths – we are very active in making sure the livestock is well taken care of and treated with respect. We also think we optimise our pasture management to keep a good level of production.”
It was the first time the Jones had entered the dairy industry awards, doing so for the recognition and experience.
Runner-up in the farm manager contest was Featherston contract milker Ryan Gooding, who won $5350 in prizes. Takapau farm manager Nathan Bird was third, winning $2550 in prizes.
The 2012 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year, Dyana Barnes, is the farm assistant for her partner and farm manager, Shawn Hanson, on the 670-cow Featherston farm they oversee for Alec and Julie Dondertman. She won $6500 in prizes.
Ms Barnes, aged 23, grew up on a dairy farm and left school in 2006 to begin her dairy farming career only taking time out to have the couple’s two young children.
She is focused on progressing in the industry, aiming to complete her AgITO Level 5 Diploma, purchase more stock, and take on an Artificial Insemination run in order to step into a herd manager role and then lower order sharemilking. “It is all building to be 50% sharemilking 350 cows within 10 years.”
Having entered the awards once before, she says the contest helps build confidence and takes her out of her comfort zone.
“I found the awards have helped increase my general farm knowledge and awareness of issues outside the farm gate. It’s also a great way to meet other like-minded people and seek out mentors.”
Second place in the dairy trainee contest went to 22-year-old Takapau farm assistant Ruth Hone and third went to Featherston farm assistant Scott Dormer, aged 24. They won $750 and $250 in prizes respectively.
All three winners will now compete for the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year titles and a prize pool of nearly $140,000 in Auckland on May 12.
Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, William and Sally Bosch, will host a field day on March 13, while Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Managers of the Year, Dean and Rochelle Jones, will host a field day on the farm they manage near Masterton on March 20. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.
Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:
Farm Manager Merit Awards:
Dairy Trainee Merit Award: