The winners have been announced in the 2010 Northland Dairy Industry Awards, with Mangatapere sharemilkers Kent and Jennifer Martin taking out the top award.
The Martin’s, who 50% sharemilk 430 cows, won the Northland Sharemilkers of the Year title and took home $7800 in cash and prizes.
The 2010 Northland Farm Manager of the Year, Mark Clements, and 2010 Northland Dairy Trainee of the Year, Michael Deal, were also announced winners at an awards dinner at the Copthorne Hotel, Paihia, last night.
Kent and Jennifer Martin are sharemilkers for Kevin and Pat Sidwell, and are aiming to produce 120,000kg milksolids this season. It was the second time they had entered the awards, after first entering eight years ago.
“We were keen to enter this year as we feel we have progressed significantly and we were interested to have some feedback as to where we are now placed,” they couple says.
“Strengths of our business include our ability to work well together. We each have our own strengths and complement each other well. We are also fortunate with the ability of our business to keep growing and to change and adapt to new and challenging situations.”
Variable order sharemilkers Geoff and Kristie Colson were runners-up in the Northland Sharemilker of the Year competition, winning $4000 in cash and prizes. The couple are 21% sharemilking 510 cows for Steve and Naiouli Wilson at Warkworth.
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.
For the 2010 Northland Farm Manager of the Year winner, Mark Clements, it was a case of going one better this year. Last year he was runner-up in the same competition.
Mr Clements is managing a 320ha farm milking 650 cows for Stephen and Wendy Wright at Kaeo. He won $5800 in cash and prizes.
He says there are huge benefits to be had from entering the Dairy Industry Awards. “It is very motivating to meet other successful farmers, to network with other managers and to identify opportunities for the coming season.”
Mr Clements says the size of the property and its stage of development along with the strong relationship he has with the farm owners are strengths of the operation.
“We feel that everyone wins when the working relationship involves a high level of integrity and commitment to all parties concerned. It is a good environment to work in,”
Second place in the farm manager competition went to Charlotte Barr, who has stepped up a contest after winning the Northland dairy trainee title last year. She won $4000.
Twenty-seven year-old Kaiwaka farm manager Zane Bell placed third in the contest, wining $2500.
The winner of the 2010 Northland Dairy Trainee of the Year, Michael Deal, has helped to continue the long association of success for his employers, former Northland and New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year, Bruce and Julie Paton. The Paton’s also employ Miss Barr.
Mr Deal, a farm assistant, won $2850 in cash and prizes for his win.
“I entered the awards as I had heard lots about the competition. I wanted to network with other farmers and sponsors as I am only young and I want to get to know these people that I will be working with for years to come. I also wanted to win!”
He plans to go sharemilking within three years and ultimately own his own farm. Other goals are to complete his modern apprenticeship and production management course and win another contest – to be the Top Level 4 Trainee at the AgITO Northland AgriAwards.
Second place in the dairy trainee competition went to Matakohe farm assistant David Williams, 24, and third place was won by Julian Retikaukau, 22, a dairy production manager for Landcorp near Kaitaia. 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.
Northland Sharemilkers of the Year Kent and Jennifer Martin will host a field day on March 23, while Northland Farm Manager of the Year Mark Clements will host a field day on the Kaeo farm he manages on March 30. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co..nz.
Sharemilker Merit Awards:
DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Kent & Jennifer Martin
Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Craig Pullar
Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Geoff & Kristie Colson
Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Kent & Jennifer Martin
LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Craig Pullar
Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Craig Pullar
Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Geoff & Kristie Colson
Westpac Business Performance Award – Kent & Jennifer Martin
Farm Manager Merit Awards:
Northland Regional Council Sustainable Land Management Award – Charlotte Barr
DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Zane Bell
RD1 Farm Management Award – Charlotte Barr
Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Mark Clements