Thomas Lundman has excelled in the Dairy Industry Awards Dairy Industry Trainee category, as runner-up in the national finals.
The Whakatane farmer also won the DeLaval Communication & Engagement merit award along with $5,500 in prizes.
Thomas (24) grew up on a dairy farm and is in his second season in the dairy industry, working as a nature guide in Fiordland for five years previously.
He is now farm assistant for Michael and Linda Mexted on their 140ha Whakatane farm, milking 550 cows.
The judges noted that Thomas is an outstanding communicator and as a career changer, the dairy industry is lucky to have him.
“He has a brilliant awareness of what’s important to himself, the farm and to the industry,” says judge Mark Laurence, from DairyNZ.
“Thomas has a real appreciation for his employer and his animal breeding knowledge is second-to-none.”
“For someone who has only been in the dairy industry for two years, what he is displaying is exceptional,” say the judges.
“We look forward to him being a great ambassador for the industry.”