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Simple Winning Strategy For Farmer Of The Year

June 29, 2002

Simple Winning Strategy For New Zealand's Farmer Of The Year

It's just 11 years since Southlanders Lloyd and Kathy McCallum converted their sheep and beef farm to a dairy unit. Now they're New Zealand's top dairy farmers.

Lloyd and Kathy are the winners of the national title in the inaugural WestpacTrust NZMP Farmer of the Year 2002 competition. The couple's win was announced at tonight's awards dinner in Hamilton (Saturday, June 29).

The McCallums also won the national RD1 Environmental Integrity Award for their leadership in sustainable farming and respect for the environment.

Several other WestpacTrust NZMP Farmer of the Year 2002 Performance Awards were also announced. These are: Ballance Agri-Nutrients Dairy Management Award: Mark and Sophie Dibley of Ngongotaha, Rotorua - Bay of Plenty/South Waikato region Dexcel Human Resources Award: Geoff and Jo Crawford of Whangarei - Northland region Ecolab Product Excellence Award: David and Lois Werder of Patea - Taranaki region Pioneer Brand Forage Products Business Performance Award: Richard and Chrissie Wright of Ashburton - Northern South Island region

To go from being sheep and beef farmers to the top dairy farmers in the country in just a decade is a huge achievement according to the three national judges.

Mark Wisnewski, a WestpacTrust senior agribusiness manager of Northland, Alvin Reid, a South Canterbury dairy farmer and Bruce Thorrold, a Dexcel programme leader farm systems of Hamilton say one of the McCallum's key messages was 'simple but effective'

"We feel that is very appropriate for farm management and business growth and the key to Lloyd and Kathy's high performance and success," the judges say in their commentary.

Lloyd and Kathy are delighted with the win.

"We really enjoyed our involvement. We would like to thank the staff back home, past and present, our family and industry suppliers and supporters," Kathy McCallum said at the awards presentation.

"We entered to help our business. Our business has grown as a result, as have we. We understand our business more and can share our ideas. We have made many more friends to share these ideas with," Lloyd McCallum said.

"It is great to be recognised for our achievement. We thank the sponsors and will continue to support them. We work hard, work smart and our business grows. We look forward to a promising and sustaining future," he said.

"We were thrilled to be acknowledged for our efforts to preserve and maintain the environment. In this category we have been proactive. Environmental integrity is achievable, logical and sensible. It is not a pie-in-the-sky, it is possible."

The judges were wowed by the McCallum's strength in all areas of the judging criteria including financial management, production quality, human resources, dairy management and environmental integrity.

"Lloyd and Kathy performed exceptionally well in the environmental aspect through factors such as fencing off water ways and their whole approach to nutrient use is an example of leading industry practice," the judges say.

"They are tailoring fertiliser and effluent use to maintain optimum levels of soil fertility leading to efficiency, economy and good environmental protection. They are also being real ambassadors for Southland dairy farming by working pro-actively alongside the Southland Regional Council."

The judges also had high praise for all the regional winners.

"All of the farmers showed great team work. You could sense that their relationship was a major part of their success. They complemented and supported each other and used planning of their personal, farming and business goals to motivate them.

"Many commented that part of the reason they had entered the competition was as a stimulus to do this. The other thing that was striking was that they were all farming in different ways but they had all developed farm systems that suited their farm and their goals."

John Roadley Chairman of Fonterra Co-operative Group, paid tribute to the excellence of the award entrants.

"The New Zealand dairy industry faces increasing challenges from our competitors in Australia, South America and the south-west United States. This represents a challenge to develop our own farm productivity and improve our efficiency at farm level.

"Lloyd and Kathy McCallum, together with the other seven excellent regional award winners, represent excellent examples of the expertise and dedication required to accept this challenge. We congratulate them."

WestpacTrust general manager business Julian Nalepa acknowledged the high standard of award entries and added his congratulations to the winners.

"Our winners represent the very best of New Zealand dairy farming and provide a fantastic role model for other farmers striving to achieve excellence in all areas of their enterprise."

ends

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