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Cream of the crop

The awards ceremony might have been cancelled but that didn’t stop Rose and Nick Bertram, 2020 Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa Share Farmers of the Year, from celebrating. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED


The 2020 Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards ceremony were cancelled, but that hasn’t stopped this year’s winners from being recognised after they were announced via a livestream on Facebook earlier this week.

Nick and Rose Bertram were named this year’s Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa Share Farmers of the Year.

The couple are 50/50 sharemilkers on Barry and Carol McNeil’s 150-hectare farm in Woodville which runs 440-cows.

Nick, 33, previously won the New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year in 2014, and was runner-up in the Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa Share Farmer category last year.

He said the programme had opened many doors and job opportunities.

“Coming from a non-farming background, the Awards have been a great opportunity to prove ourselves.  We wouldn’t have the job we have now if it wasn’t for the exposure we have had through the NZDIA programme.”

Nick is also an enthusiastic advocate for the dairy industry as the Tararua Federated Farmers sharemilker representative and sitting on the Federated Farmers National Executive for Sharemilkers.

He said they enjoyed being in a position to train and grow their staff for the industry, adding “good people drive profit”.

The couple are passionate about breeding cows and enjoy managing the different challenges farming presents.

Future farming goals include the development of a calf-rearing block on land they purchased and building their own home in a couple of years.

“We plan to be in a position to buy a farm of 400 plus cows within the next seven years.”

In aid of this, the couple took home $7632 in prizes and five merit awards.

Featherston couple Eddie and Janine Bosch, who are 50/50 sharemilkers for Donald and Pat Wood, were named runners up.

They run 330 milking cows on the 110-ha property.

“We love the variety, diversity, challenges and flexibility of farming,” he said.

“We have both grown up on dairy farms, which we see as a huge asset to our business.”

Aimee and John Hull were named third-place winners.

Stephen Smyllie.

Down the other end of the valley, 23-year-old Stephen Smyllie was named the 2020 Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa Dairy Manager of the Year.

Smyllie is the production manager and second-in-charge on Pamu Farms of New Zealand [formerly Landcorp], on a 322-ha, 840-cow property in Kahutara.

“Dairy farming constantly challenges me,” he said.

“There are always ways to innovate and improve performance and production which keeps me driven to succeed.”

He recommended entering the awards programme.

“I would highly recommend that anyone who is passionate about dairy farming at any skill level should enter the industry awards programme.

“The process has made me focus on clear career and personal goals which have set a clear path for me to chase and achieve.”

He took home $5342 in prize and six merit awards.

Runner-up in the Dairy Manager category was 30-year-old Leon McDonald who is second-in-charge at the McNeil’s Woodville property manager, run by the Bertram’s.

He said working long hours with a young family could be challenging but he found a work-life balance with good time-off during less busy periods.

Aled Ellis came in third place.

Tom Quinn.

Tom Quinn was named the 2020 Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The 24-year-old is currently a senior farm assistant on Selwyn and Jenny McLachlan’s 210-ha, 920-cow farm in Masterton.

His first time entering the competition, he said it was an opportunity to benchmark himself against others at a similar level.

“I’m new to the industry so it is a good opportunity to meet like-minded farmers and rural professionals and to learn new skills.”

He said he was passionate about food production, in particular New Zealand’s competitive advantage of low-cost production with less environmental impact compared to other big agricultural nations.

“I have a passion for seeing livestock grow, develop and reach their potential.

“I’m a fourth-generation dairy farmer and really enjoy the variety of tasks that dairy farming offers.”

He won $5800 in prizes and one merit award.

Carterton farm assistant Brett France, aged 23, was named second in the Dairy Trainee category.

He works for Bruce and Kylie Baron on their 180ha, 382-cow property.

France said he chose farming as his career because he could see the lifestyle would suit him and help him to achieve what he wanted in life.

“I’m able to see the rewards of our hard work which gives me great satisfaction.”

Rutger Visser won third-place.


Share Farmer Merit Awards:

DairyNZ Human Resources Award – Eddie and Janine Bosch

Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Eddie and Janine Bosch

Federated Farmers Leadership Award – Nicholas & Rosemarie Bertram

Honda Farm Safety, Health & Biosecurity Award – Nicholas and Rosemarie Bertram

LIC Recording & Productivity Award – Nicholas and Rosemarie Bertram

Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Nicholas and Rosemarie Bertram

Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Nicholas and Rosemarie Bertram

Westpac Business Performance Award – Eddie and Janine Bosch

Dairy Manager Merit Awards:

Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa DIA Most Promising Entrant Award – Aled Ellis

Irrigation Services Employee Engagement Award – Stephen Smyllie

Moore Markhams Ltd Leadership Award – Stephen Smyllie

Vet Services Feed Management Award – Stephen Smyllie

DeLaval Livestock Management Award – Stephen Smyllie

Fonterra Dairy Management Award – Leon McDonald

Primary ITO Power Play Award – Stephen Smyllie

Westpac Financial Management & Planning Award – Stephen Smyllie

Dairy Trainee Merit Awards:

Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa DIA Most Promising Entrant – Jacob Stolte

TFM Tractors Farming Knowledge Award – James Vallance

T.H. Enterprises Ltd Community & Industry Involvement Award – Tom Quinn

McFall Fuel Ltd Communication and Engagement Award – James Vallance

DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Brett France

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