The 2018 Taranaki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners hope the win will help them to achieve their future farming goals of farm ownership or equity partnership.
Owen Clegg and Hollie Wham said that entering the awards enabled them to learn about themselves and how much they actually know.
“We don’t give ourselves enough credit,” the couple said. “Meeting industry professionals who can guide us, our business and career, means we can recognise our strengths and improve our weaknesses, ensuring we are on the right track to achieving greater things.”
The couple were named the 2018 Taranaki Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at the TSB Hub in Hawerā last night. The other major winners were the Dairy Manager of the Year James Holgate and the Dairy Trainee of the Year, Andrew Trolove.
Clegg and Wham believed their strength lay in their team approach to business.
“We work together well, regardless of the task. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, when to lend a hand and when to step back,” they said. “We make a good team both outside on the farm and inside doing accounts.”
The couple are in their second season herd-owning sharemilking on Murray and Edna Saxton’s 56-hectare Patea property, milking 180 cows. Wham, 25, holds a Bachelor of Business Studies, majoring in management and has completed two papers towards the PrimaryITO Diploma. Clegg, 26, has studied all stages of PrimaryITO and began his career in the dairy industry at the age of 16 as a farm assistant.
Future farming goals include an equity partnership or farm ownership of a 250-cow farm, and to continue to improve their business efficiency.
“We know our goal is a massive one but we try to work hard and smarter each day to get us one step closer,” they say.
“We have strong determination and drive to achieve our goals, because we know the end result will be very satisfying.”
Runner-up in the Taranaki Share Farmer of the Year competition was Conna Smith, with Benjamin Abbot third.
Winner of the Dairy Manager of the Year competition was 26-year-old James Holgate, who was runner-up in the the dairy trainee category in 2014.
Herd manager for Tony and Lorraine Lash, on their 130ha Midhirst property, Holgate’s first experience of farm life was working as a farm assistant when he was 18.
“Coming from a town background has presented some challenges however I really enjoy farming, I’m always learning and no day is the same. I enjoy the lifestyle and industry.”
Hawera senior farm assistant Matthias Hipp was second in the dairy manager competition. Third place went to dairy operations manager Carl Hooker.
The winner of the 2018 Taranaki Dairy Trainee of the Year competition, came from a dairy farming family and grew up on the farm he manages now, and entered the Dairy Industry Awards to benchmark himself against others in the industry.
Andrew Trolove, 24, spent his childhood summers bale stacking and relief milking for his father. Having spent time as a sales rep for an agriculture company and travelling overseas, he returned to the family farm last year. “Being on a family farm, I wish to prove to myself that I have the ability to succeed on my own merits,” he said.
Trolove is farm manager for Mark Trolove, on his 210ha, 610-cow farm in Opunake.
Herd manager Michael Gilligan, 20, placed second in the dairy trainee competition, with 19-year-old Chayce Bailey third.
The Taranaki Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on 28 March 2018 at 71 Manawapou Road, RD 2 Patea where Taranaki Share Farmers of the Year, Owen Clegg and Hollie Wham, sharemilk.Further details on the winners and the field day can be found at dairyindustryawards.co.nz.