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Dutch Dairy Farm Manager Comes Up Trumps

Under Embargo Until
10pm, February 29

Dutch Dairy Farm Manager Comes Up Trumps

Moving to New Zealand to pursue a dairying career has proven extremely fruitful for Arno Renes, who has won the 2008 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Manager of the Year Award.

Mr Renes arrived in New Zealand from the Netherlands in 2001 and met his partner Anita Goldfinch, a large animal veterinarian, a year later while working on a dairy farm in Mid-Canterbury.

He is now in his third season managing a 145ha dairy farm milking 400 cows for Lance and Katherine Gillespie at Apiti, near Feilding. Milk production is anticipated to be 185,000kg milksolids this season, ending May 31.

Mr Renes, who has a Bachelor Degree in Dairy and Management from The Netherlands, won $9000 in cash and prizes for the regional Dairy Industry Award, plus the opportunity to compete against 11 other farm manager winners for the national title in Christchurch on May 24.

He was announced the winner at a special awards dinner in Palmerston North last night.

“We entered the awards for the first time this year as we are managing this farm for the third season and were at a point where we wanted a challenge and an opportunity to progress on both a business and personal level.

“We believed the process of entering would make us evaluate our current situation and make plans, improvements and set goals for the future,” Mr Renes says.

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

The 2008 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Dairy Trainee of the Year Award was also announced on the night and went to Shea Stevenson, who is working for David Marshall at Marton. He won a prize valued at $3000.

Mr Stevenson has achieved his National Certificate in Agriculture in levels 2, 3 and 4 under the Agriculture ITO modern apprenticeship, and has also obtained his production management certificate.

He is a farm assistant on the 250ha farm milking 760 cows and hopes to move into a farm management role within five years. His longer term goal is to go sharemilking and then invest in a farm.

Twenty-two-year-old Kiel Berry was runner-up in the 2008 Manawatu Rangitikei Horowhenua Farm Manager of the Year Award, winning $4000. Mr Berry manages a 78ha Ashhurst farm owned by James and Debbie Stewart milking 160 cows.

Tim and Kelly Olson, who manage a 77ha Shannon farm leased by Dave and Barbara Hands, placed third in the award and won $1500 in cash and prizes.

Farm Manager Merit Awards:
• Joyclas Farms Ltd Property & Pride Award – Arno Renes
• DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Arno Renes
• RD1 Farm Management Award – Arno Renes
• Westpac Financial and Planning Award – Kiel Berry

A field day will be held on the Gillespie’s farm on Wednesday March 19 hosted by Arno Renes, beginning at 11am. Further information can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.conz.


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