Dairy Industry Dairy Trainee of the Year Waikato winner, Aaron Courage, was immersed in dairy farming from a young age while living in the Gloriavale Community in the South Island.
After leaving the community at age 14, and completing his education in Australia, this motivated and passionate 19-year-old is already an assistant manager on the 450-cow Waikato farm of Stewart and Kathryn Anderson.
“For me it is a gift and privilege to be dairy farming,” says Aaron. “It is our role to portray a good image to urban dwellers and make a positive impact on the country as a whole.”
Aaron also won the Bayleys Real Estate Farming Knowledge Award and the Waikato Farmers Trust Community and Industry Involvement Award at 2018’s Waikato regional Dairy Industry Awards recently.
The judges were impressed by the depth of his farming knowledge and his mature ability to have a good work/life balance.
Aaron’s passion is breeding and he’s already started to buy animals with contract matings on them.
“I want to breed valuable animals,” says Aaron. “Not just more animals.”
For Aaron, his goal to progress financially is by using money wisely and he sees cows as an investment. He strives towards sustainable farm ownership, but is focused on being in a contract milking position within five years.