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Magic Touch Earns Tirau Couple Top Regional Prize

Magic Touch Earns Tirau Couple Top Regional Prize In Farmer Of The Year 2002

Overcoming the challenges of a difficult piece of land to produce outstanding results has earned a Tirau couple the Hauraki/Piako regional title in a national farming award.

Mike and Lynda Randrup have won the regional award in the inaugural WestpacTrust NZMP Farmer of the Year 2002 competition

The Randrups were also the recipients of two performance awards - The Balance Agri-Nutrients Dairy Management Award and The Pioneer Brand Forage Products Business Performance Award.

Their win was announced on Wednesday April 17 at the WestpacTrust NZMP Farmer of the Year 2002 Hauraki/Piako regional awards dinner in Paeroa. Mike and Lynda will compete for the national title in Hamilton on June 29.

"Both Mike and I think it is great for the dairy industry that we can share ideas through this competition. It gives entrants the opportunity to learn from each other," says co-winner Lynda Randrup.

"Farmers need to have such a high skill set these days," Mike Randrup says. "For this reason, we are blessed to have such a supportive team around us and lucky to have such a skilled set of resources to call on to support our developing business."

" We are honoured to represent the Hauraki Piako region - it is a great place to live and we look forward to representing our area at the national award."

Mike also has a challenge for next year's potential entrants: "Give it a go next year - you will find it really rewarding for your business - give it your best!"

Mike and Lynda will be holding a field day on their property on Friday, May 10. This will be an opportunity for the public to visit their farm and evaluate their operation up close, meet the sponsors and other people who make the award happen.

Mike and Lynda, both 37, live with their five children aged from three to 12, at Crawford Rd, Tirau. They're into their 10th dairy season on the 262 hectare farm of which 160 hectares is effective for dairying. Last season they produced 212,500kg milk solids from 540 cows on the property - a level the judges described as "outstanding".

The Randrups have overcome a number of challenges on their land including the difficult contour of the farm, the low fertility and high phosphate retention soil, poor pasture, significant weed problems and the poor state of improvements.

"Under the Randrups' excellence management skills, all of the challenges have been overcome by very efficient use of resources and thinking outside the square," the three regional judges commented.

"Mike and Lynda are both highly motivated people, who set clear goals and track them carefully. They make a strong team, both at a family level and with staff on the farm."

The Randrups, whose milk production target for the current season is 230,000kg milk solids, put their success down to their emphasis on goals, planning and the best use of resources.

They implement a farm plan six to 12 months before each season, keep their cows in excellent condition to ensure a high number of days in milk and focus on maximising pasture growth through grazing rotations and fertiliser application.

Their human relations are also an important part of their business. Mark and Lynda share their farming goals and objectives with their team and give them various roles and responsibilities.

The pair is also motivated about seeking advice from many quarters including off-farm experts as well as attending seminars, discussion groups and conferences to compare notes with "like-minded progressive thinking people".

The runners-up in Piako and Hauraki are George and Glenda Howie, of Morrinsville.

"The regional finalists represent a group of farmers who have achieved excellence in all areas of their businesses. The awards process demonstrates that excellence and enables the cream of the crop to share the information with other dairy farmers," says Tony Bradley, WestpacTrust head of Agribusiness in the North Island.

"It is farmers such as the award finalists and winners who promote a positive profile for the dairy industry in New Zealand. Their successes help other farmers improve their productivity as well driving the industry to meet the 4 per cent target."

Several Farmer of the Year Performance awards were also announced at Wednesday's dinner. These included: Ballance Agri-Nutrients Dairy Management Award: Mike and Lynda Randrup, Tirau. Ecolab Product Excellence Award: George and Glenda Howie, Morrinsville Pioneer Brand Forage Products Business Performance Award: Mike and Lynda Randrup, Tirau AnchorMart and Town and Country Agri Centres Environmental Integrity Award: George and Glenda Howie, Morrinsville

The Westpac Trust NZMP Farmer of the Year 2002 is a premier award that attracts and recognises New Zealand's very best dairy farmers.

"Our farmers are world leaders in on-farm productivity and this, along with our quality focus, gives us a competitive edge in the marketplace," says award chairman and Fonterra director Gerard Lynch. "This competition is about recognising the cream of the crop and sharing their expertise across our industry."


Issued by Pead PR on behalf WestpacTrust NZMP Farmer of the Year.

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