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Manawatu Dairy Awards Winners Look for New Opportunities

11pm, March 7

Manawatu Dairy Awards Winners Look for New Opportunities

The 2016 Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards big winner, Stephen Shailer, is on the hunt for a new dairy farm position and hopes his win will help his progress.

Mr Shailer won the 2016 Manawatu Share Farmer of the Year title and $10,450 in prizes at the region’s awards dinner held at Awapuni Racecourse last night. The other major winners were Renae Flett, the 2016 Manawatu Dairy Manager of the Year, and Karl Wood, the 2016 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year.

“We entered the awards for the first time this year as we are hoping to move to a 50:50 sharemilking position or lease farm, so we entered in an effort to make our CV stand out a bit more,” Mr Shailer says. “We also wanted to push ourselves to identify our own strong and weak points.”

A registered valuer, Mr Shailer is 30 years old and contract milking 420 cows on the Foxton farm owned by his parents, Wayne and Denise Shailer. He is married to Vera, a registered nurse working at Palmerston North Hospital.

“We think this is one of our strengths as we don’t have all our eggs in one basket – I’m the farmer and Vera is the nurse.”

He says contract milking has also been a strength, particularly in the past year. “As contract milkers we were able to set our budget and stick to it, although we have made some changes to make sure the best decisions are being made for the farm owners. We have been able to milk and get a decent cheque.”

Mr Shailer says the couple is keen to progress to 50% sharemilking and has a goal to own land and run a profitable business.

Palmerston North contract milkers Jarrod and Nikki Greenwood were second in the Share Farmer competition, winning $9600 in prizes. The couple placed second in the region’s Farm Manager of the Year competition last year, now known as the Dairy Manager of the Year.

Third place went to Kairanga equity farmers Mark and Naomi Mossop, winning $7350 in prizes.

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

The 2016 Manawatu Dairy Manager of the Year, Renae Flett, scooped four merit awards to take the title in a close contest with runner-up Hayley Hoogendyk, who collected three merit awards.

Miss Flett is aged 29 and the farm manager on Peter and Kim Bills’ Palmerston North property milking 250 cows. Together with her partner, Brayden Bills, their goal is to go contract milking or sharemilking in a year’s time.

“Our 10 to 15 year plan is farm ownership, so everything we do now is aimed towards achieving that goal.”

She says the strengths of her management are in production and the environment. “We feel we do high production - the farm is on target for 100,000kgMS – with our low input farming system. We also pride ourselves on being proactive and doing as much as possible to make our farming system as environmentally-friendly as possible.”

It was the fifth time she had entered the awards, saying the benefits include making life-long friends, learning new skills, and gaining knowledge and guidance from industry leaders.

Miss Hoogendyk, aged 27 and the 2014 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year was second in the contest, winning $8100 in prizes. She is now a Feilding farm manager. Feilding herd manager Lachlan Fee, aged 24, placed third, winning $1450 in prizes.

The 2016 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year, Karl Wood, was forced to work on his family farm during a university break and hasn’t looked back.

“While I was born and bred on a farm, I was never interested until a staff injury meant I was required to work on the home farm during the university break. From there it developed into a passion and a change of direction into dairying. I now plan to own my own farm business.”

Mr Wood, aged 21 years, is a farm assistant on his parents, David and Johanna Wood, Palmerston North farm milking 275 cows.

He says he entered the awards for the first time this year to challenge himself. “It will also give me a good opportunity to meet new people and network with others in the industry as well as providing new learning.”

The runner-up in the region’s Dairy Trainee competition was 22-year-old Alex Meads, a Marton assistant manager. He won $1300 in prizes. Third place went to Kairanga senior farm assistant, Tim Bonner, also 22 years, winning $5250 in prizes.

The Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on March 24 on the Foxton farm where Share Farmer of the Year, Stephen Shailer, contract milks. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Renae Flett, Dairy Trainee of the Year, Karl Wood, as well as former Manawatu Sharemilker of the Year, Greg Maughan. Further details on the winners and the field day can be found at

Share Farmer Merit Awards:
· DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Jarrod & Nikki Greenwood

· Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Mark & Naomi Mossop

· Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award – Jarrod & Nikki Greenwood

· Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Jarrod & Nikki Greenwood

· LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Mark & Naomi Mossop

· Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Stephen Shailer

· Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Richard & Wendy Ridd

· Westpac Business Performance Award – Stephen Shailer

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
· Naylor Lawrence and Associates Most Promising Entrant Award – James Collier

· Fitzherbert Rowe Employee Engagement Award – Hayley Hoogendyk

· Genetic Technologies Ltd Leadership Award – Hayley Hoogendyk

· Fonterra Farm Source Feed Management Award – Hayley Hoogendyk

· DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Renae Flett

· Primary ITO Power Play Award – Renae Flett

· Fonterra Farm Source Farm Management Award – Renae Flett

· Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Renae Flett

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
· Totally Vets Limited Most Promising Entrant Award – Sam White

· Horizons Regional Council Farming Knowledge Award – Tim Bonner

· Massey Agriculture Community & Industry Involvement Award – Karl Wood

· DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Tim Bonner


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