Monday, 06 May 2013 14:16

Real mix in farm manager finalists

Written by 

The 11 finalists competing for the 2013 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year title are split between contract milkers and farm managers – as well as age, experience, and farm size.

Judging begins next week for the finalists comprising four males and seven couples, and involves a two-hour farm visit covering financial planning, human resource and farm management.

The final component of the judging, an interview, will take place in Wellington prior to the winners being announced at the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on May 24.

Winners in the 2013 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year will also be announced and nearly $150,000 in prizes will be given away.

National convenor Chris Keeping says it is the 11th year of the farm manager contest, which had also become a dual between contract milkers and farm managers.

The finalists this year include five contract milkers and six farm managers. A contract milker is self-employed and paid on a specific dollar value per kilogram of milksolids (such as $1/kgMS) to oversee the farm production system. They are responsible for some of the farm expenditure and may also contribute some equipment such as a bike. A farm manager is responsible for the financial and physical performance of the farm, including recruiting and managing any staff.

"One of the great aspects of the dairy industry is that there are a number of ways people can develop their farming skills and knowledge and build their equity to take the next step in their career."

Keeping says most of the finalists are aged under 30 years old and one, Bay of Plenty's representative Chris Mexted, is only in his first full season dairy farming.

The oldest finalist, the West Coast/Top of the South's Blue Benseman, is 53 years old and is also managing the largest herd at 1050 cows. Benseman is one of four finalists who had entered the awards for the first time. It is the second time five had entered and two finalists are third time entrants, including Auckland Hauraki representative Kylie Cox. Cox has entered the dairy trainee contest twice before but is entering the farm manager contest for the first time with husband Michael, an experienced builder.
More information on the finalists can be found at

More like this

Dairy awards events canned

Organisers of the NZ Dairy Industry Awards have called off the rest of regional award dinners and the national finals.


Get ready for the ‘now’ norm

Get prepared for a ‘Now Normal’ future, says Ian Proudfoot – Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG – discussing the likely effects of COVID-19 in the months to come.


Northland farmers count the costs

Northland farmers are starting to count the cost of one of the most severe droughts to hit the region as the cost of feed and lower prices for stock are the order of the day.

Times will get better for deer sector

While the deer industry faces several challenges in the short term, there will be a strong rebound in New Zealand venison sales once global demand recovers.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Effluent power

Finnish dairy company Valio is on a mission to reduce milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.

What’s in a name?

The man who coined the term ‘Gypsy Day’ is slightly miffed that a term he introduced to New Zealand’s farming…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter