Friday, 12 April 2019 10:18

Owning a farm on their agenda

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Colin and Isabella Beazley. Colin and Isabella Beazley.

Farm ownership remains the top priority for Colin and Isabella Beazley, the Share Farmer of the Year winners in the 2019 Northland Dairy Industry Awards.

They hope to remain sharemilking on their current farm for the next five years and build equity, then progress to an equity partnership or sole ownership of a small farm.

The Beazleys outlined their vision at a field day on the farm where they sharemilk, owned by Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones.

“We hope to build up enough equity within five years to buy a small farm,” Colin Beazley told about 70 farmers at the event.

The Beazleys milk 330 cows on a 143ha milking platform, producing 125,000kgMS, a record for the farm. The farm owners recently bought an adjacent 100ha property; next season the farm will have 243ha eff and could milk 530 cows.

Beazley says he is happy to run a low input, low cost system. About 80 tonnes of PKE are fed out annually and 15-20ha of summer crops and 7ha of maize are grown on the farm. Pasture is mostly ryegrass.

The Beazleys milk year-round; 165 cows are calved August 1 and 165 on March 10.

The couple believe their strengths lie in the flexibility of a split-calving system that “allows us to keep more control of our costs and ensure workload stability,” said Colin. 

 “Another strength is our family support,” said Isabella. “They are always there to help us out if and when we need it.”

Proud to have overcome challenges, the Beazleys take most pride in raising their children Erin (7) and Dayton (2) in a rural lifestyle.  “They absolutely love it and they don’t miss out on time with us.”

 Time off-farm and a balanced lifestyle is important for the family, who play tag rugby and hockey and enjoy the lifestyle of living near a beach.  “We just try to be a happy-go-lucky couple who always see the positives in everything.”

The Beazleys were third-time-lucky at this year’s Dairy Industry Awards; they were third placegetters last year in the same category. 

They see the awards as a learning platform to network, benchmark themselves against others in the industry and learn more about themselves personally and their business.

Good life balance

Colin and Isabella Beazley believe in a good life balance for them and their staff.

The Beazleys employ three staff; production manager Gareth Davidson, tractor driver David Beazley and mechanic Dan Reihana.

Isabella says staff only work between 5am to 5pm, allowing them to spend time with family.

Splt herds mean over 40% of the year only 165 cows are milked on the farm.

Staff work on 12 days on, two days off roster; staff are incorporated into decision making as much as possible.

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