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Sustainable Farm Systems Win Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Awards

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11pm, March 18

Sustainable Farm Systems Win Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Awards

The 2015 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Matt and Tracey Honeysett, aim to farm sustainably taking into consideration the environment and staff.

The couple were the major winners at last night’s Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards held at the Masterton War Memorial Stadium, winning $11,200 in prizes.

The other big winners were Rowan McGilvary, the region’s 2015 Farm Manager of the Year, and Grace Stephenson, the Dairy Trainee of the Year.

“Our future farming goal is to run a sustainable system taking into consideration the environment, human resources and producing efficient product,” the Honeysett’s said.

The couple, aged 33 and 34 years, are equity farm managers for Pahautea Ltd Partnership milking 1200 cows at Kahutara, near Featherston.

It was Mr Honeysett’s second success in the region’s awards programme, after winning the 2009 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year title. He says the awards are great for benchmarking and networking, and are also motivating.

The Honeysett’s have been in the industry 10 years and aim to own a 400 to 500-cow dairy farm or to increase their level of equity in a large scale farm or multiple farms.

“We’ve got an excellent group of equity partners that are driven, motivated and astute business people. They provide support and advice as we continue to grow ourselves and the business.”

Dannevirke equity sharemilkers Mark and Jaime Arnold placed second in the region’s Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year contest, winning $6150 in prizes. Tutira 22% sharemilkers Glen and Trish Rankin were third for the second year running, collecting $3800 in prizes.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, New Zealand Farm Source, Ravensdown, and Triplejump, along with industry partner Primary ITO.

The 2015 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Farm Manager of the Year, Rowan McGilvary, is a professional farm manager.

The 56-year-old has been farming for 32 years and after experiences sharemilking and leasing farms, he now aims to manage or be operations manager of large scale dairy farms.

He won $7100 in prizes in his third time entering the awards. He placed third in last year’s contest. “The awards are great way to get feedback from judges, meet other farmers and benchmark your farm against others.”

Mr McGilvary, who has a Diploma in Agriculture, is currently the farm manager for Kaiwaiwai Dairies at Featherston milking 900 cows. He says he has great farm owners and staff. “The farm owners are very knowledgeable, progressive and supportive while the staff are all hard working, loyal, reliable and happy.”

He says the farming system works well. “We operate a profitable, sustainable and environmental friendly farming system.”

Runners-up in the region’s farm manager contest were Carterton contract milkers Jeremy Daysh and Anna Bergstrom, who won $4300 in prizes. Masterton contract milkers Shawn Hanson and Dyana Barnes placed third, winning $2200.

The 2015 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year, Grace Stephenson, plans to progress up the dairy industry ladder to farm ownership.

The 23-year-old is currently 2IC for her parents, Jeff and Anne Stephenson, on their 205-cow Dannevirke dairy farm. She won $5060 in prizes.

It was her second time entering the contest. “I enjoyed meeting other like-minded people and appreciated the judges’ feedback. It made me realise my strengths and weaknesses so I knew what to work on for this year’s judging.”

Miss Stephenson has been dairy farming since late 2011 and has been studying through Primary ITO.

Second in the trainee contest was Dannevirke 2IC Ben Tippins, who won $1700 in prizes, and third was Pahiatua herd manager Daniel Bird, who won $950.

Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Matt and Tracey Honeysett, will host a field day onApril 1, while Farm Manager of the Year, Rowan McGilvary, will host a field day on the Featherston farm he manages onApril 8. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on

Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:

• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Mark & Jaime Arnold

• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Mark & Jaime Arnold

• Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award – Matt & Tracey Honeysett

• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Glen & Trish Rankin

• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Glen & Trish Rankin

• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Matt & Tracey Honeysett

• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Matt & Tracey Honeysett

• Triplejump Risk Management Award – Mark & Jaime Arnold

• Westpac Business Performance Award – Matt & Tracey Honeysett

Farm Manager Merit Awards:

• BEL Group Most Promising Farm Manager Award – Korie Insley

• I.S. Dam Lining Environment Award – Kent Philips

• MacDougalls Leadership Award – Sean & Jessica Paterson

• Fonterra Best Practice Award – Jeremy Daysh & Anna Bergstrom

• New Zealand Farm Source Farm Management Award – Rowan McGilvary

• Primary ITO Human Resource Management Award – Rowan McGilvary

• Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Shawn Hanson & Dyana Barnes

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:

• Tulloch Farm Machinery Most Promising Entrant Award – Jamie Marwood

• Dairy Consult Farming Knowledge Award – Haydn McKinley

• Bell Booth Leadership Award – Zev Hastie

• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Haydn McKinley

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