Wednesday, 03 April 2024 07:55

Team effort brings results

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
The Westmorland Estate team and supporters at their annual awards event last month. The Westmorland Estate team and supporters at their annual awards event last month.

For the team at Westmorland Estate Limited in Waikato, it has been another year of everyone working together to achieve impressive results.

Owners David and Sue Fish say the team of 13 have helped their three dairy farms again surpass targets.

“It has been another year where the team has worked collectively together to achieve impressive results on farm,” David and Sue Fish told Dairy News.

“We also as a team have overcome many challenges at the busiest times of year when others have let us down. The willingness of everyone in the team to offer to support, skills and knowledge to another team member to get the job done has resulted in an awesome team.”

The ethos of teamwork is important for Westmorland Estate. ‘Together we succeed’ is their motto.

They say the first thing is to recognise that individual people are fantastic with many different skills and talents.

“By creating a team of people in an environment that allows them to contribute to a common goal, in our case quality milk, then they can only succeed. ‘Together we succeed’ has been our motto from day one when we were only a team of two,” they say.

David and Sue make sure that they provide a good work/life balance for the team.

They point out that the statistics for people dying on farm and leaving the dairy industry are not good.

It is something that the industry should consider very seriously.

“Providing a safe, supportive work environment with a shorter working week with regular meal breaks is very important to us. We want the team to be well rested and engaged when they come to work.”

Westmorland Estate holds an annual awards day, where team members are recognised for their efforts. Like every year, the 2024 awards day was supported by companies involved with Westmorland Estate: FIL, GEA, Vet Clinic Morrinsville, Rabobank, Fonterra, LIC, PGG Wrightson, DairyNZ, Donaghys and Bridges Insurance. Teams, named after each of the three farms, took away prizes and goodies donated by these companies.

David says the awards event is crucial to helping keep the team together and keeping morale high.

“This is the pinnacle of our farming year where we celebrate the hard work of the team and their achievements on farm; we take the time to celebrate by taking time off the farm to enjoy each other’s company and eat some delicious food.

“We also invite other businesses who support the team and the business with services and products. They offer sponsorship in the way of merchandise for the individual farm awards.

The awards are organised annually by Westmorland Estate human resources manager Paola Verrycken.

This year the best cows award went to Sandhurst Team; Dries Verrycken, Ievgenii Dushkevych, Brian Garcia, Samukelo Sosibo, Barbara Hilton and Aubrey Fish. The team also took out the best calves award.

The empty rate award went to Somerset team. Dries Verrycken, Emilio Ayerdi, Sue Fish, Yurii Kokhanevych. The somatic cell count and farm pride awards also went to Sandhurst.

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