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Success Runs in Family for Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Winners

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Success Runs in Family for Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Awards Winners

Two of the big winners in the 2014 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards prove success can run in families.

The region’s Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year winners, Tony and Zoe Kuriger, and Dairy Trainee of the Year, Alice Gysbertsen, both follow in the footsteps of family members to take out a regional dairy industry awards title.

Mr Kuriger’s parents, Louis and Barbara Kuriger, won the 1987 Taranaki Sharemilker of the Year title and his sister, Rachel Short, won the same Taranaki title with her husband Kenneth last year.

Miss Gysbertsen’s parents, Bart and Tineke Gysbertsen, won the 2013 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year title.

The other major winner at the region’s awards dinner held at the Masterton War Memorial Stadium last night was Nick Bertram, who won the Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year contest.

Tony and Zoe Kuriger, both aged 27, are equity sharemilking a 740-cow herd at Woodville in partnership with Mr Kuriger’s parents. They won $18,500 in prizes.

They say their strengths are their education, ability to tap into knowledge and experience, and team environment. Both hold Bachelor degrees and value the input of the farm directors and shareholders, who have decades of dairy farming and governance experience. “These skills and knowledge allow for comprehensive management at all levels, creating highly profitable and sustainable dairying practices.”

The Kurigers encourage all staff to have input into the farm’s operation. “This leads to a highly motivated team and the continued forward momentum of the business, as well as for a pleasant working environment and progression pathways for those at an earlier stage of their careers.”

The couple plan to progressively buy further shares in the partnership with the goal of full farm ownership. “The equity partnership is taking on another 700 cows for a sharemilking contract next season that we will operate, which sets us on the path to achieving this goal.

“We’d also like to replicate our environmental sustainability results on a wide range of farming systems and assist others in their progression through the industry.”

Second place in the sharemilker/equity farmer contest went to Dannevirke 25% sharemilkers, Blair and Naomi Castles, who won $6600 in prizes. Pirinoa sharemilkers Glen and Trish Rankin were third, winning $4600.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown, RD1 and Triplejump, along with industry partner Primary ITO (formerly AgITO).
After winning the ‘most promising farm manager’ merit award in 2013, the 2014 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year, Nick Bertram, has delivered on expectations.

The 27-year-old is contract milking 260 cows for David and Lorraine Osborne at Featherston. He won $12,000 in prizes.

Mr Bertram is focused on his future in the industry and has a goal to be 50% sharemilking by 2017. He is rearing heifer calves in order to help achieve that goal.

Second place in the farm manager contest went to Featherston contract milker Adam Giddens, aged 25 years, who won $3600 in prizes. Featherston farm manager Rowan McGilvary, aged 54, was placed third, winning $3450.

It was the second time 2014 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year, Alice Gysbertsen, had entered the awards. She won $6300 in prizes.

“One of the benefits of entering was getting the judges feedback and using that to better myself.”

Aged 19, she is a farm assistant on Suzanne Butcher’s 180-cow Carterton dairy farm. She has the goal of progressing to a 50% sharemilking position by 2016.

Second place in the trainee contest went to Eketahuna herd manager Jarrah McCaffrey, aged 23 years, who won $800, and third was Dannevirke herd manager Kyle Paton, aged 22, who won $1500 in prizes.

Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Tony and Zoe Kuriger, will host a field day on April 2, while Farm Manager of the Year, Nick Bertram, will host a field day on the Featherston farm he manages on April 10. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on

Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:
• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Glen & Trish Rankin
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Glen & Trish Rankin
• Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award – Bernie & April Cox
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Tony & Zoe Kuriger
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Blair & Naomi Castles
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Tony & Zoe Kuriger
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Tony & Zoe Kuriger
• Triplejump Risk Management Award – Tony & Zoe Kuriger
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Tony & Zoe Kuriger

Farm Manager Merit Awards:
• Bell-Booth Best Livestock Award – Adam Giddens
• BEL Group Most Promising Farm Manager Award – Jeremy Daysh & Anna Bergstrom
• MacDougalls Leadership Award – Ben & Deanne Parkes
• Fonterra Best Practice Award – Rowan McGilvary
• Primary ITO Human Resource Management Award – Nick Bertram
• RD1 Farm Management Award – Rowan McGilvary
• Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Nick Bertram

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• Watson and Son Farming Knowledge Award – Kyle Paton
• Tulloch Farm Machinery Leadership Award – Haydn McKinley
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Alice Gysbertsen

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