Andrew awarded third place

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By LAURA McLEAY

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.

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