Rural groups are banding together to support farmers dealing with challenging weather conditions in Otago and Southland.
Bay of Plenty’s Andre Meier became the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Grace Gibberd from Waikato was announced the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year. They shared prizes from a pool worth over $215,000.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a gala dinner to announce the winners was not possible, so another way was found to celebrate success within the dairy industry. For the first time ever, the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards winners were announced on national television and aired on Country TV on Saturday night.
Share Farmer head judge, Jacqui Groves from Westpac, says the Bertrams impressed the judges by remaining true to their vision, their mission and values in life. “They were high achievers in all areas.”
Nick and Rose, aged 33 and 27 years respectively, are 50/50 sharemilkers on Barry and Carol McNeil’s 150ha, 440-cow Woodville property.
Nick won the 2014 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and was runner-up in the Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa Share Farmer category last year. He and Rosemarie believe the Awards programme has opened many doors and job opportunities for them.
To win the national title and just over $52,000 in prizes, Nick and Rosemarie demonstrated strengths in pasture management, leadership, business and communication. They also won four merit awards: the Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award, the Federated Farmers Leadership Award, the DeLaval Interview Award and the Westpac Business Performance Award.
Fellow Share Farmer judge Matt Richards, from Southland says the Bertrams have a sound understanding of maximising pasture principles which influence operating profit and nutrient management. “They have a ‘back-to-basics’ style of farm practice, which includes no in-shed feeding, no topping, no feed pad and no irrigation,” he said.
The judges also noted that the Bertrams were up-to-date and well-researched on current affairs “They were both able to confidently share their opinions and views and were humble yet balanced.”