Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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‘Dairy industry should be proud of them’

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Hayden and Linda McCartie exemplify dairy leaders, striving to provide staff with an enjoyable work environment and team culture, say the judges who awarded the couple the 2017 Bay of Plenty Dairy Managers of the Year title.

The couple, who are managers of the Matata farm owned by Matt and Laura Gow, also received high praise for their “impeccable” dairy, milk quality, recording and monitoring systems and feed management. “The farm surrounds look a showpiece and was a credit to their attention to detail; the dairy industry should be proud of them,” says judges’ citation.

Hayden and Linda remain committed to the dairy industry and their future in farming, despite the fact they were financially “burnt” when contract milking several years ago. “We almost went bankrupt and are still paying off debt, but dairying is what we know and love,” Hayden told those attending the awards field day near Edgecumbe.

The McCarties believe their strength lies in their team. “Everyone works well together, there’s good communication between everyone and it is a positive place to work.” They place significant emphasis on recruiting staff who will work well together.

Winning team: At back, the 2017 Bay of Plenty Dairy Managers of the Year Hayden and Linda McCartie and 2017 Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year Hayden Goodall. At front, staff Jerson Viyar and Dale Bedingham, and farm owners Laura and Matt Gow.

 

Team environment

“We look for people who fit the other personalities on the farm because these are the people who will work with us, hang out with us, be our neighbours and their kids will go to school with our children. We aim to build a team environment,” says Linda.

They encourage their staff to further their training in the industry and hold weekly staff meetings for their three full-time employees, two permanent part-time employees and a mechanic and maintenance staff member.

Regular performance reviews, strong communications and encouraging career progression are important points in building strong relationships.

Linda and Hayden strive to lead by example, being fair but firm, having good communications and actively listening and showing staff they care about and appreciate them.

Travelling irrigators

The Gow Family Trust the couple work for has a home farm of 65 hectares milking 180 to 230 cows and the Plattfields’ main farm of 215ha milking 710 to 760 cows. There is also a runoff of 160ha and a lease block of 24ha. The 940-cow herd is predominately KiwiCross with about 120 Friesians.

The farm is a system 3 and 24ha of maize is grown and a small amount of balage harvested off the lease block. About 80 per cent of the property is irrigated with 27ha by a travelling irrigator and 140ha by two pivots. The dairy is a 59-bail interval rotary with a 600-cow feed pad and a 30-cow standoff pad.

The couple list paying off debit as among their goals – now made easier thanks to the fact both Linda and Hayden have stopped smoking – saving around $10,000 a year. Eventually they hope to purchase a lifestyle block or a contracting business. “This will allow us to still be involved in farming without it being as physically demanding.”


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