New Zealand 2022 Share Farmer of the Year Will Green says it's a huge honour to be recognised in such a competitive industry.
That's the view of 2022 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winner Danielle Hovmand.
Hovmand will complete her second year as a contract milker for Sue Broomfield on her 106ha Patetonga farm, milking 270 cows.
Next year, she will move to another farm owned by Broomfield at Springdale, with better pasture growth, in-shed feeding and higher milk production.
Hovmand enjoys working for Broomfield and says having a great employer is important. Her advice to other youngsters eyeing a career in dairying is to find an employer who will help you transition into dairy farming with ease.
"Find someone that can set you up to succeed," she told Rural News. "The person you work for makes a huge difference; it greatly helps you carve out a pathway as a successful dairy farmer."
Hovmand, who took part in the NZ Dairy Awards last year says the competition pushed her outside her comfort zone and increased networking opportunities.
"By analysing my business and learning to capitalise on my strengths and overcome any weaknesses, I've gained a better understanding of my farming business, my farming system, where I want my business to be in the future and how I'm going to get there," she says.
Hovmand didn't consider dairy farmers as part of her career until a universty placement during a summer break.
"I was given the opportunity to try every aspect of farming. I enjoy challenging myself to make improvements to my farming system and that there is a clear pathway of progression within the industry." The 25-year-old believes farmers are guardians for future generations.
Hovmand joins finalists from 10 other regions at the national awards night in Christchurch this weekend (May 13-15).
A total of 32 finalist will compete for a total prize pool worth around $200,000 and the honour of winning either the 2022 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, 2022 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year or the 2022 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the year title.
Best of the Best
New Zealand Dairy Awards general manager Robin Congdon says the 32 finalists from 11 regions are the cream of the crop from all the entries received.
"It was fantastic to attend the regional dinners and feel the excitement of the wins and see the journey each finalist has taken, both professionally and personally," says Congdon.
"The awards promote best practice and celebrate all entrants and finalists. It's not just about winning, it's a programme of learning, connecting and personal and professional growth."
The finalists include a mix of gender, age, farming experience and career backgrounds amongst the regional finalists, along with 18 finalists who were on a work visa - six in the Dairy Trainee category, 11 in the Dairy Manager category and one in the Share Farmer category.