Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Winners prove value of immigration

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Rotorua farmers Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos, runners up in the 2017 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year Award, demonstrate the value of new immigrants to the dairy industry, says Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman Andrew Hoggard.

“While immigration builds as an election issue, it is particularly significant that runner-up to the most prestigious award were the 33 year-olds from the Philippines.

“The couple have worked their way up through the dairy industry and are a shining example of the significant contribution and leadership our immigrants can provide. They also won the Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene merit award.

"It is debatable whether the couple would have been allowed to stay in this country under the new rules being proposed," Andrew says.

"I imagine a lot of the Filipino staff on New Zealand farms will take pride in this achievement with them. In these times of anti-immigrant sentiment, Carlos and Bernice exemplify how a country can be so much richer for having people of their calibre in it."

Carlos and Bernice, who farm near Rotorua, had earlier won the 2017 Central Plateau share farmer awards, and it was another farmer from the region, Taylor Macdonald, second-in-charge for Phil and Diane Herdman on their 470-cow property at Reporoa, who was awarded third place in the national dairy trainee’s competition. 

Taylor Macdonald, second-in-charge for Phil and Diane Herdman on their 470-cow property at Reporoa, who was awarded third place in the national dairy trainee’s competition.

More than 500 farmers, their families and those supporting the dairy industry gathered at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre on Saturday night to celebrate the industry and those who had been judged the best in their field.

Christopher and Siobhan O’Malley were named the 2017 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year, Hayley Hoogendyk became the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Clay Paton was announced the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year. They shared prizes worth over $190,000.

2017 Share Farmer of the Year – Christopher and Siobhan O’Malley (Canterbury-North Otago)

The O’Malleys, both aged 34 years, are 50-50 sharemilking 515 cows on Graham Brookers 138ha farm in Ashburton.  Twenty-right-year-old former event manager Hayley is farm manager for Te Paratai Farms Ltd, on Nigel, Roger and Noelene Taylor’s 220ha, 600 cow property in Rongotea and Clay is 2second in charge on Brent and Michelle Riley’s 163ha Wakefield farm milking 450 cows.

“There was an overwhelmingly strong theme among the 33 finalists competing for honours in the awards programme,” award’s general manager Chris Keeping says. “The finalists are acutely aware of the importance of farming responsibly, with regards to both environmental issues and animal management.  It’s extremely positive to see such dedication to these issues within the industry.”

Share Farmer head judge Neil Gray, from Thames, says the judges were impressed to see all finalists had a strong focus on environmental issues and they understood the impact agriculture has on the environment. “They had some fantastic systems to manage dairy farm effluent and were aware of the public perception around these issues as well.”

Neil says the O’Malleys are an excellent example of how embracing technology can enhance on farm health and safety practices. “An example of this was their use of a free app to communicate with their team to notify them immediately of a new hazard identified on-farm.”

The former adventure tourism guide and former secondary school teacher were very balanced right across all categories.  “They presented themselves very well in the interview and were able to articulate their desire to not only progress their career but also to give back to the industry.  They had a very unselfish attitude to their whole farm business,” says Neil.

In winning the national title and $50,700 in cash and prizes, the couple demonstrated strengths in human resource and herd management.  They won three merit awards with the DairyNZ Human Resources Award, Fonterra Farm Source Interview Award and the LIC Recording and Productivity Award.

The runners-up in the Share Farmer of the Year competition, Ngakuru 50-50 sharemilkers Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos have a real drive and passion to prove themselves in the New Zealand farming sector. They also won the Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene merit award. “We walked into their cowshed and couldn’t believe it was over 30 years old, it looked fantastic.  They lived and breathed their philosophy that the cowshed was the place where they produce the finest quality milk that goes onto supply food for the rest of the world,” says Neil.

The Delos Santos began farming in New Zealand in 2001, progressing through the industry from farm assistant to their current sharemilking position, which they have held since 2015.  They won $24,000 in cash and prizes.

For the first time, a sole woman has won the Dairy Manager competition.  A ‘quiet-achiever’ is how judges described the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year, Hayley Hoogendyk.

2017 Dairy Manager of the Year – Hayley Hoogendyk (Manawatu).

“She has an all-round solid approach to the way she manages the farm she is working on.  Her staff management was exceptional and her ability to set tasks and achieve targets were all linked to her people management skills,” says dairy manager head judge Richard Kyte.

 “Hayley has a great understanding on how to empower people to work to their best potential to work in making the whole team more efficient.  She is quite insightful for someone who is reasonably young.

“She’s a young woman managing a team of men and does well motivating them to perform at a very high level. Her team hold her in high-regard and there is a great team culture.  She understands all the different personalities of her staff and how they fit in with each other.”

There were several noticeable trends showing with the finalists, including ownership of their roles, care of staff and the desire to give back to the industry. “Some of the finalists are new managers and they are already wanting to support other people into the dairy industry and to promote it as a career pathway,” says Richard.

There was also a noticeable trend of increased awareness regarding health and safety practices.  Richard also noted that there was a definite lack of entrants striving for farm ownership.  “The industry needs to think about succession moving forward,” he says.

The Dairy Manager runner-up, Kerry Higgins, aged 32 years, also won the Fonterra Farm Source Dairy Management Award, and the Westpac Financial Management and Planning Award. The Hororata farm manager won $11,000 in prizes. The judges noted that he has brought a high level of professionalism with him to the dairy industry.

Te Kauwhata assistant manager Rachel Foy, aged 24, was placed third and won $5,500 in prizes and the Fonterra Farm Source Feed Management Award.  Rachel is a quiet, determined manager achieving great results on farm and in her career, and the judges expect to see more of her in the future.

The 2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year, Clay Paton, is very focused on his career goals, and is a passionate advocate for the industry. He has got a bright future ahead of him, says Dairy Trainee head judge Andrew Reid from DairyNZ.

2017 Dairy Trainee of the Year – Clay Paton (West Coast-Top of the South).

“He has a clear balance between his work priorities and life and family balance.  He is very driven but has a strong community focus and an awareness of the issues the industry will be facing in years to come.”

“Clay is very family-orientated and wants a healthy and fun lifestyle for his young children. He sees the dairy industry as a way to progress his career and reach his life goals, and his goals of farm ownership must be right for the family.”

“Clay is very professional and all the judges agreed that he will be a fantastic ambassador for the dairy industry and a great Future Leader.”

The Dairy Trainee runner-up, Ben Haley, also won the Communication and Engagement Award.  He impressed the judges with his ability to express himself clearly and is clearly passionate about the career he has chosen.  The 24-year-old Ashburton 2IC won $5000 in prizes.

Third placegetter Taylor Macdonald is second-in-charge for Phil and Diane Herdman on their 470-cow property at Reporoa.  He was very knowledgeable about the issues facing farming and had a very mature outlook on where he wants to go as an individual.   He won $3000 in cash and prizes, and the DairyNZ Practical Skills Award.

Visit www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz for more information on the awards and winners.

Full Results:

2017 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year:

  • Winner – Christopher and Siobhan O’Malley, Canterbury-North Otago
  • Runner-up – Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos, Central Plateau
  • Third – Dion and Johanna Bishell, Taranaki

2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year:

  • Winner – Hayley Hoogendyk, Manawatu
  • Runner-up – Kerry Higgins, Canterbury-North Otago
  • Third – Rachel Foy, Auckland-Hauraki

2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year:

  • Winner – Clay Paton, West Coast-Top of the South
  • Runner-up – Ben Haley, Canterbury-North Otago
  • Third – Taylor Macdonald, Central Plateau



Comments on SunLive

They are outstanding

Posted on 08-05-2017 14:36 | By Papamoaner

People from the Philippines are exceptionally hard workers and pay close attention to detail and professionalism. Just ask the nursing manager in any hospital. If you are an employer and can get Filipino staff, especially nurses, you are lucky.
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