Waikato sharemilkers Sarah and Aidan Stevenson have been named the new 2020 NZ Dairy Industry Awards national share farmer of the year winners.
The Beazleys won 2019 Northland Share Farmers of the Year and went on to win the national title.
Entries for the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards open on Tuesday October 1.
“We entered to benchmark ourselves against the best and for the networking opportunities,” they said. “The networking and contact with industry leaders is unparalleled and we have used these relationships to grow our business.”
Their advice to would-be entrants is to remember ‘evidence is key’. “If you can’t prove it to the judges, they simply cannot mark it, so keeping good records is paramount,” advises Isabella.
“Sorting through and collating everything farmers do daily can take time so start now if you’re thinking of entering.
“A busy farmer can get caught up in the day-to-day running of the farm, so to stand back and watch our presentation -- seeing nine plywood boards plastered with our collated evidences and setting up our machinery for display and effect -- was eye-opening for us,” said Colin.
“It made us proud of how far our industry has allowed us to grow and we’re excited about the prospects and where it can take us.”
The Beazleys are active on social media and say it is important for their family, friends and local community to keep up-to-date with what is happening on their farm.
“Social media is huge given how our industry has been portrayed in recent times, and our little page quickly grew into something to promote our industry in a positive light.”
This year they are regional managers on the Northland regional committee, enjoying being able to encourage the next wave of entrants.
“We recommend entering the awards,” they say.
“First, the industry networking is invaluable. Second, the judges are industry experts and the constructive feedback you’ll receive is a great way to grow your business and career in the dairy industry.
“And third, the time [you get] off farm: being able to flick off the cow poo clothes and don suave suits and flash heels to enjoy time with others in our industry who also get what it’s like to be a farmer is just as rewarding as the event itself.
“If you’re striving for more in our industry, sign up and see where the awards journey takes you.”
The awards are sponsored by Westpac, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown, DairyNZ and Primary ITO.
For more details or to register to enter Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year or Dairy Trainee of the Year go to dairyindustryawards.co.nz