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BOP Dairy Awards Winners Progress

BOP Dairy Awards Winners Progress

Winning the 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title has proved a natural progression for Russell and Nadine Meade.

The couple won the2010 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year title and set about developing innovative and flexible investment opportunities to achieve farm business ownership.

Now 50% sharemilking 220 cows for Barbara Sullivan at Whakatane, the couple took home cash and prizes in winning the top prize worth $16,600 at the awards dinner held at the Awakeri Events Centre last night.

The other big winners in the 2013 Bay of Plenty Dairy Industry Awards were Chris Mexted, winner of the Farm Manager of the Year title, and Thomas Chatfield, the Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The Meades say participating in the dairy awards offers considerable benefits. “One of the many benefits we perceive this competition offers us is in motivating us to constantly examine our business to ensure that it is a sustainable, productive and competitive operation.

“It also gives us recognition within our region and helps improve and publicise our dairy farming reputation.”

While Russell Meade has been in the industry most of his life, having grown up on a dairy farm, Nadine Meade has embraced the industry since the couple met in 2006. While she still works off-farm, for Carter Holt Harvey, her management skills are pivotal to the farm’s operation.

“We believe the greatest strength that our business has is our complementary skill set. This makes it easy to align responsibilities and ensures that all aspects of our business are attended to and are managed by the best person for the job.”
The couple plan to continue to increase their business equity growth and to reach their goal of farm ownership.

Second place in the Bay of Plenty sharemilker/equity farmer contest went to Whakatane 21% sharemilkers Brett and Natasha Grindrod, who won $7600, and Te Puke 22% sharemilkers Jeff and Ryn Going were placed third, winning $3000.

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 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year, Chris Mexted, is keen to experiment, innovate and make changes to lift farm business performance.

The 23-year-old is also an avid user of rural professionals and advisers to assist him to achieve his goals. Mr Mexted, who won $10,700 in prizes, is managing a 435 cow Whakatane farm for Bruce and Judy Woods.

In his first full season in the industry, he entered the awards for the first time to make progress, network, build his reputation, and have some fun.

Runner-up in the Bay of Plenty farm manager contest was Edgecumbe farm manager Glen Penny, who won $3700, and third was Galatea farm manager Shaun Bicknell, winning $1800.

Changing career has proved successful for 2013 Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year, Thomas Chatfield, a former physiotherapist.

Mr Chatfield, aged 27 and in his first season in the industry, won the title and $4500 in prizes. He is working for Rhys Watkins on his parent’s 500 cow Whakatane farm. He entered to benchmark himself against others in the industry.

“Being new to dairying I wanted to check that I was performing as well as I felt like I was.”

Second place in the dairy trainee contest went to Edgecumbe trainee Sam Thompson, who won $300, and third-place getter was Murupara assistant Cameron Luxton, winning $200. Both Mr Thompson and farm manager runner-up Glen Penny work on the same farm.

Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Russell and Nadine Meade, will host a field day on March 27, while Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year, Chris Mexted, will host a field day on the Whakatane farm he manages on April 3. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on

Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:
• Blackman Spargo Legal Audit Award – Jeff & Ryn Going
• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Brett & Natasha Grindrod
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Brett & Natasha Grindrod
• Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award – Brett & Natasha Grindrod
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Russell & Nadine Meade
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Jamie & Angela Lanauze
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Russell & Nadine Meade
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Russell & Nadine Meade
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Russell & Nadine Meade

Farm Manager Merit Awards:
• Business Results Group Most Promising First Time Entrant Award – Andrew & Sarah White
• Dairy Production Systems Livestock Management Award – Silke Hackbarth
• AgITO Human Resource Management Award – Chris Mexted
• Fonterra Best Practice Award – Chris Mexted
• RD1 Farm Management Award – Glen Penny
• Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Chris Mexted

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Aran Sealey
• Planwise Farming Knowledge Award – Josh Cozens


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