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Contest Makes Dairy Awards Winner Better Farmer

11pm, March 20
Contest Makes Dairy Awards Winner Better Farmer

Entering the 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year contest has made its winner, Richard McIntyre, better at what he does.

Mr McIntyre, who won $13,500 in cash and prizes, says he entered the Dairy Industry Awards to have his farm business analysed, with weaknesses highlighted and solutions found. “Essentially, it makes us better at what we do.”

The other big winners were Michael and Raewyn Hills, the 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Farm Managers of the Year and Nic Verhoek, the Dairy Trainee of the Year. All winners are farming at Feilding and were announced at the region’s awards dinner held at Awapuni Racecourse, near Palmerston North, last night

Mr McIntyre, aged 31, is 29% sharemilking 430 cows for Richard and Sally Hogg. He says his business strengths are its focus on animal health and welfare, and human resources.

“We place a high value on the welfare of our stock through the implementation of farming policies, high levels of stockmanship and observation,” he says.

“My experiences, both positive and negative, in the past have made human resource management a focus and consequently a strength in our business. It is important to us that the working relationship with staff is positive and the environment we strive to create is focused on working together as a team.”

Married to Emma, Mr McIntyre says the couple plan to progress to 50% sharemilking or an equity partnership and then increase in scale to either diversify or become farm owners.

Feilding 22% sharemilkers Duncan and Kim Fraser were runner-up in the sharemilker/equity farmer contest, winning $10,000 in prizes.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner AgITO.

The 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Farm Managers of the Year, Michael and Raewyn Hills, went one better this year to claim the title and $9000 in prizes. The couple, who are managing a 700 cow farm for Brian and Alison, and Peter and Sharon Hills, were runner-up in the same contest last year.

“We gained heaps of benefits from our experience last year, particularly through the knowledge we gained from others and the feedback from judges specifically for our business.”

The couple are pleased with the production they do for the type of land farmed and say the dairy operation supports a bull beef, export heifer and calf rearing operation on additional farms, providing learning opportunities.

The Hills plan to progress to farm ownership through equity partnership opportunities.

Second place went to Bunnythorpe contract milker, Amy Lowe, aged 24, who won $4000, and third were Palmerston North contract milkers Shaun and Helene Kelly, winning $2150 in prizes.

In his first season in the dairy industry, 2013 Dairy Trainee of the Year, Nic Verhoek, says he found participating in the dairy industry awards a great process and introduction to the industry.

“It’s my first year as a dairy farmer so I see real benefits for progression, networking and knowledge building. Regardless of the result, I’d be interested to be involved in the awards in the future.”

Mr Verhoek, aged 27, won $6200 in prizes. He is an assistant on Kevin and Anna Citanovrch’s 1400 cow farm at Feilding. His goal is to progress in the industry.

Ashhurst assistant Dustin Mayo was runner-up in the dairy trainee contest, winning $750, and third went to Tokomaru assistant Renae Flett, who won $1500.

Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Richard McIntyre, will host a field day on April 9, while Farm Managers of the Year, Michael and Raewyn Hills, will host a field day on April 18. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on

Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:
• Naylor Lawrence and Associates Best Financial & Farm Records Award – Shane Edwards & Sherree Drysdale
• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Richard McIntyre
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Duncan & Kim Fraser
• Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award – Duncan & Kim Fraser
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Duncan & Kim Fraser
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Duncan & Kim Fraser
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Duncan & Kim Fraser
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Shane Edwards & Sherree Drysdale
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Shane Edwards & Sherree Drysdale

Farm Manager Merit Awards:
• Bell Booth Best Livestock Award – Amy Lowe
• Hobsons & Associates Grass Roots Award – Kyle Falconer
• McDougalls Future Aims & Attitude Award – Sam Ebbett
• AgITO Human Resource Management Award – Michael & Raewyn Hills
• Fonterra Best Practice Award – Ian Powell & LeAnne Blakelock
• RD1 Farm Management Award – Kyle Falconer
• Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Michael & Raewyn Hills

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Nic Verhoek
• Horizons Regional Council Farming Knowledge Award – Renae Flett


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