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Winton Dairy Farmers Win Top Regional Prize

Outstanding Business Growth And Dairy Management Land Winton Dairy Farmers Top Regional Prize

Winton farmers Lloyd and Kathy McCallum have won the South South Island regional title in the inaugural Westpac Trust NZMP Farmer of the Year 2002 competition.

The McCallums also won two performance awards: the Dexcel Human Resources Award and the Ecolab Product Excellence Award.

The couple's win was announced on Saturday 27 April at the Southern South Island regional awards dinner in Gore. Lloyd and Kathy will compete for the national title in Hamilton on June 29.

Lloyd McCallum, on accepting the award, acknowledged winning is a team effort. "Our staff over the years have been an integral part of our business, we have all pushed the boundaries and it has been a pleasure to see them all, past and present, succeed in their farming ventures.

We have found entering the competition a stimulating process," said Lloyd.

"Being aware of the calibre of the other entrants, we are quite surprised at our win. It is a privilege to receive this award. We will be sure to do our best for you all when we represent our region in the finals in June."

Lloyd and Cathy said they were proud to be part of the NZ dairy industry and look forward to their next challenge, the final.

Lloyd and Cathy will be holding a field day on their property on Wednesday, May 8. 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.

Lloyd and Kathy McCallum, with their four children aged 9 to 17, farm at Wilson's Crossing in Southland. The McCallums converted their 171 hectare farm to dairy in 1991 and improvements in fertility and productivity have seen the farm perform consistently in the top five per cent of Southland farms.

The judges commented on the McCallum's "outstanding" business growth, dairy management and strengths in financial management. A high priority for the couple has been to evaluate and improve their profit margin while at the same time being good custodians of the land in their care.

The McCallums also impressed the judges with their sound pasture management. Most of their farm was re-grassed with the switch to dairying and in 2000 it was used for trials for the New Zealand Grasslands conference.

The pair have also recently invested in another property at Mandeville in Southland - an equity partnership between three parties with the purchase of a 650-cow going concern dairy farm with a budget of 260,000 kg milk solids for the current season.

The McCallums' future business goals include expanding their dairy business and investments, maximising profits and increasing equity. "We continually re-evaluate our direction and hope to be able to change direction or decisions as required."

Their personal goals include keeping their stress levels as low as possible, having more family time and buying a holiday home.

The runner-up to the South South Island Regional winner is Allan Maxwell of Seaward Downs who also won the Pioneer Brand Forage Products Business Performance Award. "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 Peter Bosworth, WestpacTrust head of Agribusiness in the South Island.

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

Several Farmer of the Year Performance awards were also announced at Saturday's dinner. These included: Ballance Agri-Nutrients Dairy Management Award: Hugh and Monica Luoni of Ermedale Ecolab Product Excellence Award: Lloyd and Kathy McCallum, Winton Pioneer Brand Forage Products Business Performance Award: Allan Maxwell, Seaward Downs AnchorMart and Town & Country Agri Centres Environmental Integrity Award: Tony and Sue McDonnell, Outram Dexcel Human Resources Award: Lloyd and Kathy McCallum, Winton

The WestpacTrust 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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