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Second Triumph for Southland Dairy Awards Winners

Second Triumph for Southland Dairy Awards Winners

The goals of the 2013 Southland Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Don and Jess Moore, are to optimise production and maximise profit to reach farm ownership and enjoy a balanced lifestyle.

The Moores, who won $18,400 in prizes, aim to achieve this by growing their business using sustainable farming and human resource practices.

The other big winners at the 2013 Southland Dairy Industry Awards held at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club last night were Daniel and Emma Todd, the region’s 2013 Farm Managers of the Year, and James Warren, the Southland Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Don and Jess Moore, aged 28 and 26, are in their second season 50% sharemilking 950 cows for Jeff and Edith, and Bruce and Sue Cunningham at Gore. They have been on the farm five years, spending two years managing, and a year lower order sharemilking before progressing.

A former deep sea fisherman, Mr Moore, aged 28, won the 2010 Southland Farm Manager of the Year title. The couple say there are many benefits to entering the awards.

“It makes you look at your business through a microscope and delve into the how, why and where too in every aspect – from the day-to-day running to our goals for the future. We also enjoy the opportunity to network with some of the stand-out leaders within the dairy industry, as that is what makes this industry so strong.”

The couple say communication and maximising low cost production are strengths. “On a large farm, it’s important that people are kept well informed. For this reason we focus on keeping up communication and having systems that assist us to do this so that everyone knows what they are responsible for.”

Second in the Southland sharemilker/equity farmer contest were Tokanui equity farm managers Chris and Lynsey Stratford, who won $10,400, while Winton equity sharemilkers Andres Patino and Jorgelina Leiva were third, winning $5200.

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 Southland Farm Managers of the Year, Daniel and Emma Todd, want to grow their livestock numbers quickly and profitably so they can progress to 50% sharemilking within four years.

The couple, who won $9150, contract milk 377 cows for Rob and Karen Duthie at Rimu. “Our contract milking position is enabling us to grow our livestock numbers, and thus helping us to grow our equity and reach our goals faster.”

The Todds say they work well as a team, as they are able to use their individual skills and expertise to the businesses’ advantage. Daniel Todd, aged 25, has a practical farming background while Emma Todd, aged 26, holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is an Associate Chartered Accountant.

“Our hands on practical farming experience mixed with accounting, taxation and human resource management skills have been a successful combination for us, enabling us to focus on the parts of the business which we love to do and giving us more time together as a family.”

The couple had entered the awards once before, saying it forced them to step out of their comfort zone. “We loved the challenge and the ability to network with other farmers and industry representatives.”

Runner-up in the farm manager contest was Gore farm manager Don Mananes, who won $5700, and Lochiel contract milkers Craig McGregor and Megan Edgley were third, winning $2400.

The 2013 Southland Dairy Trainee of the Year, James Warren, says there are great opportunities to progress in New Zealand’s dairy industry for those that work hard.

Mr Warren, aged 28 years, is an assistant on a 1000 cow farm owned by Avondale Dairies, Tony and Vicki Miles, at Winton. He won $7400 in prizes.

He was encouraged to enter the awards for the first time. “I was hesitant to apply at first, but when I entered I realised it was a good opportunity for me and it took me out of my comfort zone. It was a great way to meet people as I am new to the province.”

After graduating from Massey University, Mr Warren travelled overseas. He worked on a cattle ranch in Canada and dairy farms in Ireland before returning to New Zealand last year.

“I came home to fulfil my dreams of farming.” His goals are to progress through the industry and ultimately achieve farm ownership.

Second place in the Southland trainee contest went to Roslyn Bush assistant Mark Barclay, who won $2200 in cash and prizes. Third was Winton trainee Josh Lavender, who won $800 in prizes.

Southland Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Don and Jess Moore, will host a field day on April 18, while Southland Farm Managers of the Year, Daniel and Emma Todd, will host a field day on April 23. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on

Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:
• Karen Vreugdenhil Memorial Encouragement Award – John & Joanna O’Callaghan
• Terry Bently Animal Husbandry Award – Tamburayi Makoni & Doreen Mapfumo
• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Don & Jess Moore
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Tamburayi Makoni & Doreen Mapfumo
• Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award – Chris & Lynsey Stratford
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Don & Jess Moore
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Andres Patino & Jorgelina Leiva
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Chris & Lynsey Stratford
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Chris & Lynsey Stratford
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Don & Jess Moore

Farm Manager Merit Awards:
• Claude Wuest Memorial Encouragement Award – Michael Hand
• Newtek Pacifier Best Livestock Award – Sven Buhre
• AgITO Human Resource Management Award – Marty & Amy Heath
• Fonterra Best Practice Award – Don Mananes
• RD1 Farm Management Award – Don Mananes
• Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Daniel & Emma Todd

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – James Warren
• Winton Stock Feed Farming Knowledge Award – Mark Barclay


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