Tuesday, 02 April 2024 10:55

Awards win makes kids super proud of parents

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Waikato share farmers of the year Logan and Sian Dawson’s children are super proud of their achievements . Waikato share farmers of the year Logan and Sian Dawson’s children are super proud of their achievements .

Waikato's top share farmers of the year, Logan and Sian Dawson, are chuffed to see their kids so proud of their achievement.

With four boys and a daughter, the Dawsons have made a point to be role model farmers for the children. More so after Logan’s brush with the law as a young man, when he made a poor decision while pig-hunting.

Now the 36-year-old dairy farmer has elevated animal welfare to the forefront of his business at Ngahinapouri where he milks 1300 cows, employs six staff and supplies 700,000 kgMS to Fonterra as an equity partner in the 50/50 sharemilking business operated on Jim and Sue van der Poel’s 333ha farm.

He declared the historic charges when entering the awards and believes it benefits everyone to value the animals that farmers have the privilege of caring for.

He recalls being told as a youngster that “today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chips paper”. However, social media means when his kids Google their dad’s name, the old charges of ill-treating pigs appear.

Logan told Dairy News that he was stoked and proud to have turned a page by winning the regional title. He will now compete for the national title with other regional winners in Queenstown in May.

“We put some much effort into this and to see our kids super proud of our achievement is a great feeling.

“Just over a decade ago, when I was in my early twenties, I found myself on the receiving end of animal cruelty charges and immediately took full responsibility for my actions,” he says.

“I am so sorry and have used the experience as an opportunity for personal growth and I lead our team to diligently display best animal welfare practices.”

Logan says he is acutely aware of how important it is to not only surround his family with genuine wholesome people, but to be that person for those around them as well.

“I wanted my kids to find something positive about me when googling and I’ve spent the past decade trying to be the best role model I can be for them and my team. My desire is to be the best example to my legacy that I can be.”

Logan hopes that taking part in the awards will redefine him or at least balance out the past and prove that “you can turn your life around”.

“I have been able to start breeding a herd of my own, something I’m very passionate about, and have worked my way up to an equity partnership sharemilking job that is incredibly fulfilling.”

Logan and Sian believe the awards programme has pushed them out of their comfort zone, but they enjoyed the challenge and have grown a lot through the process.

Logan is a third generation farmer who grew up on the family dairy farm and has been farming since leaving high school.

“I’ve worked my way up from farm assistant to herd manager, 2IC, then lower-order sharemilking which led to larger scale contract milking that’s allowed us to grow into our current equity partner sharemilking role.”

Logan has achieved NZ Certificate in Agriculture Levels 2, 3 and 4, NZ Certificate in Production Management Level 5 and NZ Certificate in Agribusiness Management Level 5.

Sian, 36, had a very different upbringing, raised as a city girl in Sydney.

“I’ve been a photographer for the last 10 years and am kept very busy raising our five children.”

The couple enjoy the variety of physical and mental work that farming gives them and the connection with their animals and the land.

“We get to feed the world and live an honest and wholesome life at the same time.”

The couple look forward to watching technology advancing and new ideas being tested to increase efficiency as well as reduce environmental impact.

Logan Dawson FBTW

Logan Dawson is stoked and proud to have turned a page by winning the regional title.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors CowManager, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda, LIC, Meridian, Ravensdown, and Trelleborg, along with industry partners DairyNZ, Media- Works and Rural Training Solutions NZ.

Overcoming Challenges

One of the biggest challenges the couple have faced was the 2016 milk payout, which plummeted to $4.30/kgMS.

“It changed the way we now structure our business, the way we operate with minimising expenses, personal drawings and revolutionised our risk assessment and decision-making process,” says Logan.

The rise in input costs and interest rates over the past two seasons have also prompted the couple to minimise costs and keep their business profitable.

They are proud they have achieved a large-scale sharemilking equity partnership and hitting 130% of liveweight in production last year.

The Dawsons identify the strong relationship with their equity partner as a strength of their business along with profitable and proven farm systems.

“Farming is certainly challenging at times but every difficulty is an opportunity for growth.”

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