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A volunteer adding value

Northland sharemilker Sheila Russell likes making a difference as a volunteer. Glenys Christian reports. The adage that if you want to get a job done you should ask a busy person is certainly correct when it comes to Tomarata sharemilker, Sheila Russell. Not only is she the co-convener for the lower Northland Dairy Womens’ Network (DWN), she’s also been chair ... Read More »

When the neighbour’s bull paid a visit

Micha Johansen Eketahuna, Wairarapa We’ve made it to nine-months of farm ownership and it’s definitely been worse than we expected, despite attempts to be as realistic as possible before purchase. The very wet winter became a very wet spring, and my “moving on in 10 years” plan became a five-year, then a three-year plan. Fortunately the sun finally came out, ... Read More »

Asparations for success

Asparagus and dairying aren’t industries you think of as working hand-in-hand. But an innovative family has made it work and say the two businesses complement each other nicely. Geoff and Liz Lewis started growing asparagus in 1981 and their business, Tendertips, is now one of the main asparagus producers in the country, supplying major supermarkets and selling through their packhouse ... Read More »

Making milk and waves

Josh Kerridge is a young farmer reaping the benefits of working with family on their 120ha dairy unit in Waihi. He is in the enviable position of being able to fulfil his passions for surf lifesaving and competing at an elite level in surf rowing, while earning a living milking 300 Kiwicross cows. Josh, 20, is the only farmer in ... Read More »

Tautane teamwork

There’s likely to be plenty of teamwork and a healthy dose of rivalry when young shepherds Taane Hubbard and Hemoata Kopa next enter the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the Year Award. The couple, who met while studying at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, were both finalists in last year’s competition, which was won by Taane’s cousin Hannah Wallace. The competition alternates each year between sheep and beef and dairy, so ... Read More »

Loretta Smyth – Farm manager

Loretta Smyth has proven herself as a farm manager developing a rundown farm and is now making similar inroads into Northland College’s underperforming dairy farm. Jackie Harrigan talked to Loretta about realising potential – in her dairy herd and in the agri-academy students learning their trade on the farm. Getting the most out of a farm and getting the most ... Read More »

Jayden Harvey – Sharemilker

Jayden Harvey has been in the dairy industry since he was 15 years old but he manages to balance his dedication to a busy job with farming competitions, club activities, outside interests and community work. The Opunake dairy farmer managed to get away from the farm and cows to celebrate his 21st birthday in November with a holiday on the ... Read More »

Thomas Macdonald – Dairy business analyst

Numbers figure largely in the life and psyche of Thomas Macdonald so it’s little wonder his first job in agriculture is as a dairy business analyst. Hailing from a family dairy farm at Gordonton on the outskirts of Hamilton, he knew he wanted to be involved in agriculture but didn’t want to move straight into farming. His innate love of ... Read More »

Monique O’Connell – Consulting officer

Two years ago Southland was one of the last places Monique O’Connell, 23, thought she would end up. “I came here for a week on a uni trip with Lincoln and it rained and it blew and it was so cold,” she said. At the end of her four year AgScience (Hons) degree she applied for one of four graduate ... Read More »

Matt Nilsson – Operations manager

Matt Nilsson, 24, says his father used to tell him to pick one thing in life and be good at it. For him it’s dairying in the south. He is operations manager on Ted Wong’s three dairy farms near Balclutha but as a kid he lived on a sheep-and-beef farm in Hawke’s Bay. When Matt was seven his family went ... Read More »