Friday, 10 July 2020 17:31

2020 SFOTY loses title, refused to hand over voluntarily

Written by  Staff Reporters
Nick Bertram. Nick Bertram.

The 2020 NZ Share Farmer of the Year Nick Bertram has been stripped of his title.

The NZ Dairy Industry Awards Trust says the decision follows revelations of “unacceptable social media comments” posted by Bertram prior to the awards. Bertram’s twitter comments from 2017 were revealed by animal rights group SAFE. 

Bertram apologised for his comments on the same day they were made public.

In a statement, Bertram says the NZDIA decision has come as a complete shock.

He refused to hand over the title voluntarily.

“As you may have heard we have become subjects of ‘cancel culture’ in New Zealand.

“After refusing to hand our title in voluntarily, following consultation with our support networks, we decided to not give SAFE the win.

“We have worked really hard and spent many hours working on our presentation. We have also given four years of our time on the regional dairy industry awards committee after winning nationals in 2014 (Dairy Manager of the Year title). 

“It came as a complete shock that the NZ Dairy Industry Awards have stripped us of our title.”

The NZDIA Trust says it will undertake an independent review of its procedures, processes and entry criteria.

It acknowledges Bertram subsequently apologised and deleted the comments and that some people within the industry were aware of those comments prior to the awards being announced last Saturday.

“Animal welfare is of paramount importance to the industry and the Trust is committed to offering a 2021 Awards programme that will showcase best practice and allow entrants to benchmark and improve their own farming practices. It is also committed to farmer welfare and will ensure Mr and Mrs Bertram are supported during this difficult time,” NZDIA says.

Bertram claims the current members of the National NZDIA committee/trust were also aware of these tweets leading into the current awards programs.

“When we questioned them why did they allow us to enter….their response was they didn’t know we were going to win.

“The current national committee/trust have used the excuse that the sponsors are putting them under pressure to strip our title. However, we have approached the sponsors in question and this is not the case.

“The National Dairy Industry Awards committee/trustees were aware of the tweet in question three years ago. They had a meeting and following this meeting I was told to pull my head in, and in future watch my tweets and my language.

“Soon after that I took a year off twitter to focus on the family. During this time, I did social media training. I have had no issues on social media since.”

Bertram has also resigned as Federated Farmers sharemilkers section vice chair.

More like this

Activists delight in demise

Animal activist organisation SAFE, which exposed former 2020 Share Farmer of the Year Nick Bertram’s unsavoury social media history, has responded with glee to his title being revoked.

Winning comes easy

The 2020 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners Nick and Rose Bertram are no strangers to success.

Evidence is key, say award winners

2019 Share Farmers of the Year Colin and Isabella Beazley, of Northland, say the benefits to their career and business from entering are worth the effort and time.

New leader for NZ dairy awards

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has appointed Robin Congdon general manager, succeeding Chris Keeping who served 18 years in the role.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

$10 payout!

A small but select group of Fonterra farmers are on the cusp of setting a new milk payout record.

The migrant workers dilemma

Dairy farmers want more Kiwi workers, but they also want relaxed immigration restrictions. So, what's the problem?

Producing milk, the Miraka way

The goal of Māori-owned dairy company Miraka, near Taupo, is to become the most sustainable dairy company in the world.

Machinery & Products

Landpower invests in cow central

One of Australasia’s largest, privately-owned farm machinery distributors, Landpower is building a new $10 million complex adjacent to Hamilton Airport.

Maize moisture in a moment

With forage maize playing such an important part of the New Zealand fodder supply chain, a useful hand-held moisture measuring…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter