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Dairy Awards Winners Focus on Growing Business

Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Awards Winners Focus on Growing Business

Relative industry and farming newcomers have scooped the major prizes at the 2016 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards.

Mark and Jaime Arnold were named the 2016 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at Masterton War Memorial Stadium last night. The other major winners were Lance Graves, the region’s 2016 Dairy Manager of the Year, and Nicholas Bailey, the 2016 Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The Arnolds have no farming background and first set foot on a dairy farm in 2008. Mr Arnold, aged 48 years, managed a logging crew and Mrs Arnold, 35 years, was teaching.

They have been 50% sharemilking 500 cows on the Dannevirke farm owned by Mike and Sherynn Harold, and Stuart and Sandra Cordell since 2011.

“Dairying is such a supportive industry, so it is great to be a part of it.”

The couple, who had entered the awards twice previously and finished runner-up last year, won $11,600 in prizes.

“From entering the dairy industry awards we know exactly what drives our profitability and how our low-input system is resilient. It has made us focus on our goals and how we can achieve them and it has helped us to highlight what we are driven by.

“We also see the benefits of networking and getting our name out there to build a good image for ourselves so that it could open up job opportunities.”

Their goals are to continue farming in the Tararua district, to reduce debt and start buying equity into a dairy farm, and to achieve a healthy work and life balance.

“In later years, we want to give our four children the opportunity to grow within the industry and to buy shares into our business.”

The region’s Share Farmer runners-up are Carterton contract milkers, Adam and Rebecca Giddens, aged 27 and 25 years, and who won $8000 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.

Entering the awards has helped the 2016 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Manager of the Year, Lance Graves, to grow his business – Graves Grazing.

Mr Graves, aged 26 years, buys 100kg calves to rear and then sell as in-calf heifers. “This business is important to us in assisting us to reach our goals in the near and distant future.”

Employed by Willy and Sally Bosch as a herd manager overseeing 315 cows on the Martinborough farm owned by Jenny Tucker, he won $7500 in prizes.

His first goal is to go lower order sharemilking or contract milking by 2018 and to progress to 50% sharemilking by 2021. His ultimate goal is farm ownership.

A qualified automotive engineer, it is only Mr Graves second season in the industry. He is focused on operating a low cost profitable dairy business.

“What is the point of being in business if you are not making a profit? Having low operating costs allows you to make ends meet and ensure the business continues to progress into the future regardless of the payout.”

Maraekakaho farm manager Lewis Knauf, aged 29 years, was second in the Dairy Manager competition, winning $4900 in prizes. Third place went to 34-year-old Waipukurau farm manager Ray Johnson, who won $6050 in prizes, as he also won three merit awards.

The 2016 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year, Nicholas Bailey, is hardworking and outgoing and likes to achieve positive results.

“I also like to help others to reach their potential and learn more so they can progress in their career.”

The 21-year-old is assistant manager for Robert Hartley on Bryan Tucker’s 950-cow Greytown farm. He won $7050 in prizes.

His short term goal is to progress to a farm manager or contract milking position while longer term he plans to go sharemilking or enter an equity partnership.

Mr Bailey is a New Zealand Football accredited referee and oversees Wellington regional games as well as games in the national youth league. He is also heavily involved in Young Farmers.

“Entering the awards has helped me to get some new experiences, especially in the interview, and enabled me to meet new people and test my knowledge.”

Second place in the 2016 Dairy Trainee competition went to 19-year-old Carterton herd manager Ben Bosch, who won $4300 in prizes. Pahiatua farm assistant, Logan Mott, aged 21, was third, winning $3700 I prizes.

The Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on April on the Dannevirke farm where Share Farmers of the Year, Mark and Jaime Arnold, sharemilk. Also presenting at the field day will be the region’s Dairy Manager of the Year, Lance Graves, Dairy Trainee of the Year, Nicholas Bailey, as well as the 2003 New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year, Andrew and Alison Watters. Further details on the winners and the field day can be found

Share Farmer Merit Awards:
• DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Mark & Jaime Arnold
• Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Eddie Bosch
• Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Rob & Shiralee Seerden
• Honda Farm Safety and Health Award – Rob & Shiralee Seerden
• LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Mark & Jaime Arnold
• Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Adam & Rebecca Giddens
• Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Adam & Rebecca Giddens
• Westpac Business Performance Award – Mark & Jaime Arnold

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:
• Moore Stephens Markhams Ltd Most Promising Entrant Award – Andrew Melvin
• Easy Safety Employee Engagement Award – Ray Johnson
• I.S. Dam Lining Ltd Leadership Award – Ray Johnson
• Fonterra Farm Source Feed Management Award – Lewis Knauf
• DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Adam Scott
• Primary ITO Power Play Award – Adam Scott
• Fonterra Farm Source Farm Management Award – Ray Johnson
• Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Lance Graves

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:
• Triplejump Wellington Most Promising Entrant Award – Brock Cumming
• TFM Tractors Farming Knowledge Award – Ben Bosch
• Dorrington Poole Lawyers Community & Industry Involvement Award – Nicholas Bailey
• DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Logan Mott


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