Switching careers has paid off for a former motor mechanic and nurse, with Shayne and Rochelle Hutchinson winning the 2010 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Sharemilker of the Year title.
The couple were announced the winners at the Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Dairy Industry Awards dinner at Awapuni Racecourse near Palmerston North last night, taking home $17,500 in cash and prizes.
The 2010 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Managers of the Year, Michael and Susanna Booth, and 2010 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Dairy Trainee of the Year, Amanda Brew, were also announced.
The Hutchinson’s dairy farming career began in 2003 – when they also bought their first weaner heifers – and they began sharemilking in 2005. Their current position is 50% sharemilking 400 cows for Trevor Timmins at Kairanga.
“We love the industry and have found the dairy industry network to be very supportive and encouraging to newcomers, guiding us and helping us to achieve our goals.”
They have also found support through entering the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.
“This was our second time entering the awards and it has certainly highlighted our strengths and weaknesses. It has helped us to refocus on our goal of farm ownership and aided in running our business more efficiently and profitably.”
They say their strengths are working as a team and recognising opportunities.
Palmerston North 26% sharemilkers Kyran and Emma Brown placed second in the sharemilker competition, winning $7200, and Rongotea 50% sharemilkers Kyle and Virginia Marshall placed third, winning $3700 in cash and 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 Agriculture ITO.
The Farm Managers of the Year, Michael and Susanna Booth, aged 26 and 24, are managing a 700-cow farm for Richard and Joy Gibson at Longburn, near Palmerston North. They are buying into the herd on the farm and hope to take on a 50% sharemilking position in three years whilst also retaining their current position.
The Booth’s, who won $6650 in cash and prizes, say the farm is summer safe as it receives Fonterra irrigation year round.
It was the first time they had entered the awards, doing so as they were encouraged and believed they would learn from the experience.
Second place in the Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Manager of the Year contest went to Feilding equity farm manager Ewen Macdonald, aged 29, who won $3700.
It was a case of keeping it within the farm for Apiti equity farm manager Hamish Easton, 33, who placed third in the contest winning $2800, while his farm assistant Amanda Brew, 25, won the 2010 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Dairy Trainee of the Year title, winning $2850 in prizes.
Miss Brew says she entered the contest for a challenge and networking opportunity. Her goals are to move into a farm management position and then build equity to ultimately achieve farm ownership.
Second place in the dairy trainee contest went to 24-year-old Michael Rigarlsford, a second in-charge on a farm near Palmerston North, and third place went to Kerry Walker, 19, a Foxton herd manager. They won $500 and $250 respectively.
All three winners will now compete for the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year titles and a prize pool of more than $130,000 in Rotorua on May 15.
Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Sharemilkers of the Year Shayne and Rochelle Hutchinson will host a field day on March 25, while Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Managers of the Year Michael and Susanna Booth will host a field day on the Longburn farm they manage on March 31. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co..nz.
Sharemilker Merit Awards:
Naylor Lawrence and Associates Best Financial and Farm Records – Shayne & Rochelle Hutchinson
DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Richard & Christine Sinclair
Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Richard & Christine Sinclair
Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Kyle & Virginia Marshall
Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Kyran & Emma Brown
LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Shayne & Rochelle Hutchinson
Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Mason Smith & Iona Cameron-Smith
Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Kyran & Emma Brown
Westpac Business Performance Award – Shayne & Rochelle Hutchinson
Farm Manager Merit Awards:
MacDougalls Pride and Property Award – Michael & Susanna Booth
Essential Nutrition Aims and Attitudes Award – Matt Johnson & Kate Dudley
DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Jason Halford
RD1 Farm Management Award – Ewen Macdonald
Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Hamish Easton