2009-03-26

DAIRY WINNERS ACHIEVE MANY FIRSTS

The 2009 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Sharemilker of the Year Matthew Gibson is experiencing a number of firsts this month. He has won the competition on his first time entering and with partner, Sarah; they have just had their first baby.

Mr Gibson is 50% sharemilking 470 cows on his parents, Buster and Denise Gibson, farm near Dannevirke. He is targeting production of 210,000kg milksolids this season, ending May 31.

“We entered the competition as we didn’t think we could grow our business in isolation. The valuable scrutiny and feedback from judges will enable us to refine and further develop our business and having participated will enable us to attract future opportunities and provide us with a solid reputation amongst our farming peers and financiers.”

Mr Gibson, who has a Bachelor of Applied Science, won $12,000 in cash and prizes.

He says people and the ability to make timely decisions in all aspects of the sharemilking business are its strengths.

“Our goals are to have a healthy, happy, profitable dairy farming business that enables us to achieve wider family goals of wealth creation, distribution and succession.”

Carterton sharemilkers Bryce and Kylie Baron placed second in the Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Sharemilker of the Year, winning $6000 in cash and prizes. They 50% sharemilk 380 cows for Patricia Smith.

Third place went to Carterton lower order sharemilkers Clarence and Elise Stolte. They won $4500 in cash and prizes and are 16% sharemilking 450 cows for Stolte Dairy.

The 2009 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year winner, Matthew Honeysett, and 2009 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year, John Wyatt, were also announced at the awards dinner held at Copthorne Hotel Solway Park, Masterton, last night.

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 $100,000 in Wellington on May 16.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, Honda, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

The 2009 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year Matthew Honeysett, 27, is managing a 175ha Masterton farm milking 800 cows for Selwyn and Jenny McLachlan. He won $7700 in cash and prizes.

“I am originally from England and moved here to chase my dream of dairy farm ownership. This is my sixth season in New Zealand.”

Mr Honeysett says his farm employers are extremely supportive. “They have a vision to keep moving this farm and their business forward and embrace new technologies and ideas. This allows me to implement new ideas and trial new methods to try and improve efficiencies within the system.

“To achieve my long term goal of farm ownership, my current employers are willing to help me by establishing an equity partnership.”

Ashley Clinton farm manager Richard Greaves placed second in the Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year, winning $5500 in cash and prizes. He is managing a 375ha farm milking 1200 cows for Dean and Kristen Nikora.

Takapau farm manager Monty Monteith placed third, winning $1500 in cash and prizes. He is managing a 188ha farm milking 520 cows for Paddy Fogarty.

Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year John Wyatt, 29, is a dairy farm assistant on a 154ha Dannevirke farm owned by Sydney and Tracey Hikawai. He won prizes worth $2420.

“I like working outside and the variety, challenge and responsibilities I have. I also like achieving goals and targets.”

Mr Wyatt says his next goal is to obtain a good farm manager’s position that will enable him to increase his knowledge and skill base.

Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Sharemilker of the Year Matthew Gibson will host a field day on Wednesday April 1, while Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year Matthew Honeysett will host a field day on the Masterton farm he manages on Wednesday April 8. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Sharemilker Merit Awards:

  • MacDougalls Best Variable Order Sharemilker Award – Kiel & Michelle Berry
  • Honda ATV Safety Award - Kiel & Michelle Berry
  • DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Clarence & Elise Stolte
  • Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Shaun & Kate Mitchell
  • Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Bryce & Kylie Baron
  • LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Matthew Gibson
  • Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Matthew Gibson
  • Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Sam Capes
  • Westpac Business Performance Award – Clarence & Elise Stolte

Farm Manager Merit Awards:

  • Tararua Vets Animal Husbandry Award – Dale Marshall & Sherryn Barrett
  • DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Richard Greaves
  • RD1 Farm Management Award – Matthew Honeysett
  • Westpac Financial and Planning Award – Richard Greaves

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