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Commitment to cows pays off for dairy workers

Fred Hohaia

Farmers, managers and workers from three dairy farms in Wellsford and Pakiri all picked up prizes in the 2018 Northland Dairy Industry Awards last month.

Fred Hohaia was named the Most Promising Entrant and came second in the Dairy Manager of the Year, winning $1875.

He looks after 360 cows on Rick Smith’s 150ha property at Pakiri, and says he enjoys learning new skills and improving himself via the many challenges that farming offers, with no two seasons the same.

The judges said Fred showed “exceptional enthusiasm” in wanting to improve the farm he is working on.

“We commend him on his pursuits to implement new policies and efficiencies on farm,” they said. “He shows great initiative and will surely go far in the dairy industry.”

Colin and Isabella Beazley

Colin and Isabella Beazley won the Farm Dairy Hygiene Award and placed second in the Northland Share Farmer of the Year category, picking up $1750 in prizes. They are 50 per cent sharemilkers on Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones’ 179ha Wellsford farm, milking 330 cows, where they place great emphasis on having animals that are happy and healthy. They said they were particularly proud not only to have survived a low milk price pay-out, but to have continued to grow their business throughout.

Judges praised their standards of cleanliness and said their cowshed was amazingly clean, considering its age.

“It looked as if anytime we called in, it would be the same and wasn’t just for the competition,” they said. “Record keeping was done to a very high standard.”

Jesse Insley

Meanwhile, 19-year-old farm assistant Jesse Insley picked up the Dairy NZ Practical Skills Award, the

Communication & Engagement Award and was third in the Northland Dairy, Trainee of the Year. She milks 520 cows on Innes Anderson’s 211ha Kaiwaka farm, and she won $1250.

Judges said Jesse showed confidence, enthusiasm and a passion for the industry, and said her commitment to dairying was obvious.

“We see Jesse going a long way in the dairy industry,” they said.

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