2009-03-26

DAIRY WINNERS HAVE ‘CAN-DO’ ATTITUDE

The 2009 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Sharemilkers of the Year Rowan and Rachel Baker are relative newcomers to the industry equipped with the skills to succeed.

“We are a complementary and comprehensive team – in terms of our personalities, skills, qualifications and work history,” they say.

Rowan Baker has a Certificate in Engineering and has worked as a Team Leader for Gallagher Group in Hamilton and Massey University in Palmerston North while Rachel Baker is a veterinarian who has been working as a dairy consultant.

“We have a fresh approach and a ‘can-do’ attitude with no preconceived ideas, as our parents are not farmers. We have been on the other side of the fence and appreciate the benefits of a farming business and lifestyle.”

The Bakers are currently 50% sharemilking 240 cows for Peter and Denise Ritchie at Shannon, targeting milk production of 102,000kg milksolids this season ending May 31.

It was the first time they had entered the competition, winning $14,000 in cash and prizes.

“We entered the contest to stand back and have a good look at the way we run our business and to get feedback from people within the industry.”

The Bakers aim to progress to a larger sharemilking position or equity partnership and to ultimately be the major or outright shareholder in a dairy farm.

Bunnythorpe 50% sharemilkers Jack Zwart and Terri Standish-Zwart placed second, winning $6000 in cash and prizes. They are milking 290 cows for Peter and Val Donald.

Third place went to Kyle and Virginia Marshall, who are 50% sharemilking 340 cows at Rongotea. They won $2500 in cash and prizes.

The 2009 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Manager of the Year winner, Josh Dondertman, and 2009 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Dairy Trainee of the Year, Luke Cosgrove, were also announced at the awards dinner held at the Travelodge in Palmerston North 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 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Manager of the Year Josh Dondertman, 24, is managing a 450ha farm milking 1500 cows for Kevin and Anna Cvitanovich at Waituna West. He won $7000 in cash and prizes.

Mr Dondertman has been in the industry three years, after gaining a Bachelor of Applied Science.

“I entered the competition for the first time this year as I had previously been part of a farm that won the Sharemilker of the Year competition and I could see the benefits to be had for my personal and business development.”

His goals are to continue to progress through the industry to farm ownership.

Neighbouring Landcorp farm managers Matt Johnson, 22, and Kyle Falconer, 34, placed second and third in the competition winning $5000 and $1500 respectively. Both men manage Landcorp farms at Moutoa near Foxton.

Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Dairy Trainee of the Year Luke Cosgrove, 21, is second in charge on a 450-cow farm owned by Wayne Lynch, near Palmerston North.

Mr Cosgrove says the position enables him to work closely with the farm manager and provide input into farm decision-making.

He is completing his Level 4 National Certificate in Agriculture through Agriculture ITO and plans to move into a management position in 2010. He won $2420.

Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Sharemilkers of the Year Rowan and Rachel Baker will host a field day on Tuesday April 7, while Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Manager of the Year Josh Dondertman will host a field day on the Waituna West farm he manages on Thursday April 16. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Sharemilker Merit Awards:

  • Naylor Lawrence & Assoc Financial & Farm Records Award – Rowan & Rachel Baker
  • Honda ATV Safety Award – Jason & Ann-Maree McEwan
  • DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Shayne & Rochelle Hutchinson
  • Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Jason & Ann-Maree McEwan
  • Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Rowan & Rachel Baker
  • LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Shayne & Rochelle Hutchinson
  • Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Jack Zwart & Terri Standish-Zwart
  • Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Rowan & Rachel Baker
  • Westpac Business Performance Award – Rowan & Rachel Baker

Farm Manager Merit Awards:

  • Joyclas Farms Property and Pride Award – Roy Tiller
  • P&T Holdings Aims and Attitude Award – Matt Johnson
  • DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Scott Harris
  • RD1 Farm Management Award – Josh Dondertman
  • Westpac Financial and Planning Award – Matt Johnson

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