Andrew awarded third place
Andrew Bouton is the true definition of a farmer and now he has the award to prove it.
The 24-year-old was recently recognised for his dedication to dairy farming after winning third place for Waikato Farm Manager of the Year at the 2011 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, walking away with $2850.
Mr Bouton has only been farming for four years but still impressed the judges with his all-round knowledge of farming and his enthusiasm for the job. He currently manages a 380-cow farm near Waharoa.
‘‘ I am really happy with third,’’ Mr Bouton said. ‘‘Entering has given me the chance to benchmark myself against other farmers and see where I am at.’’
To place in the Farm Manager of the Year section, managers must have a widespread knowledge about farming, livestock and the financial aspects to running a farm.
‘‘It is about being universal. Being able to keep accurate records, present information and have a good understanding for cows,’’ he said.
All contestants had to give a two-hour presentation which covered all facets of farming including livestock, pastures and soils, environment, occupational health and safety, and the working of a dairy shed.
‘‘A large part of it was also about goal setting and how you are going to maintain these. One of my main goals is to get a good skill base when I am young, then progress and seek avenues to generate equity later on,’’ said Mr Bouton.
‘‘ It was well worthwhile entering because like a lot of farmers, you can be into the livestock but not give much thought to the health and safety aspects of farming and goal setting, but this is also important.’’
He said he could not have made it this far in farming and the competition without the help of his farm owners, Paul and Christine Mackenzie and his employee Nick Coppard.
Farming came naturally to Mr Bouton who has always liked the outdoors and enjoys working in a business situation where he can see the results of his work.
Before getting into farming he completed a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Agriculture at Massey University in Palmerston North.
At the end of the season, March 31, Mr Bouton is taking a year off to complete an overseas experience in Europe before coming back to reach his future goal of owning a farm or being in an equity partnership.
Passionate: Andrew Bouton, 24, has a bright future ahead of him after placing third in the Waikato Farm Manager of the Year category of the 2011 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.