Job: Sharemilker Area: Southland
Brief introduction about yourself:
I am a 25 year old dairy farmer milking 1150 cows in my first year 50/50 sharemilking in the Maniototo. Originally from Northland I moved to Southland in 2009 with my partner Bettina and son William to begin a career in dairy farming. I have continued to climb in the industry both in career progression and our own stock numbers
What is your typical day like?
Up at 4:30am and out the door at 5am. Check and make sure everything is fine with staff, shed and the first herd etc. We employ 4 full time staff and roster staff to have days off in pairs, if it is days off then I will fill in by either getting the herds in or by milking. 9:30 breakfast for an hour then organize staff for the day, who is doing what break fences, hosing out, effluent, weekly maintenance on equipment etc. I will do the feeding out for the stock or move irrigation depending on the season. Fix any breakdowns or organize electricians or engineers in to do repairs. Lunch 1pm-2. Either fill in again or carry on behind the scenes. Usually finishing at 6:30 with cows locked away and staff cleaned up and gone home.
How did you get to where you are now?
Working hard and smart and having healthy Debt. Taking advice and learning from all types of people, parents, farm advisers, neighbors, friends and staff. Having business goals outside day to day duties such as building up my own herd of cows.
What do you love most about your job?
Working for myself. I am motivated because all improvements, decisions and extra work I do directly benefits me and my business. I am rewarded not just with an income but equity growth. I am able to have flexibility in my day to day life by balancing the things I have to do with the things I would like to do. I don’t have to ask for days off, holidays or a sleep in. If I can organize it I can do it.
What do you need to do your job well?
A good sense of humor because things do go wrong. You need to have good time and people management skills. A well rounded knowledge of dairy farming in regards to stock, pasture, soils machinery.
Work & Travel:
I have done a fair amount of traveling lately as I have been invited to many farming conferences throughout the country. Dairy farming is a lot bigger than the farm you work on.
What are your goals for the future?
Short term is to pay off debt and maintain a healthy work life balance with my partner and two boys. Farm ownership before I am 30.
Back to The Real World
How did I get here:
School - NCEA: Statistics, English, Design, Media Studies, Physical Education and General Science
University: Currently working towards my Diploma in Agribusiness through primary ITO