Yanni seizes sec­ond chance

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By NI­COLA STE­WART

The June 1 changeover marked a new year for sharemilk­ers across the Waikato, and a fresh start for Mata­mata farmer Yanni Eleft­heridis.

Af­ter giv­ing up sharemilk­ing three years ago to work in the en­gi­neer­ing trade, Mr Eleft­heridis, 51, was given the op­por­tu­nity to re­turn to farm­ing on land ad­ja­cent to his Te Tuhi Rd prop­erty.

The farm own­ers, Steve and Pam Con­nolly, are his next-door neigh­bours and were open to tak­ing him on as a sharemilker.

‘‘To be given an op­por­tu­nity like this at our age is pretty un­heard of,’’ Mr Eleft­heridis said.

‘‘We see it as a great chal­lenge to start from scratch, scary, but a great op­por­tu­nity.’’

Mr Eleft­heridis moved to the Mata­mata area in 2002 with his wife Caro­line and their three chil­dren and spent seven years sharemilk­ing on a farm on Camp­bell Rd.

Be­fore that, the fam­ily were based on farms in Pu­taruru and Man­gatangi and Mr Eleft­heridis said he was bring­ing 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence to his lat­est ven­ture.

‘‘I’ve worked on a few very dif­fer­ent farms – dif­fer­ent soil types, cli­mates, con­tours. It hasn’t been plain sail­ing, dairy farm­ing has its ups and downs, but the good times far out­weigh the bad.’’

Along with his young farm­hand, Mr Eleft­heridis is pre­par­ing for calv­ing and will start milk­ing around July 15.

Sharemilk­ing came with a huge amount of free­dom and the op­por­tu­nity to see a tan­gi­ble growth in your busi­ness, he said.

‘‘You’re your own boss, of course there’s a farm owner, but the de­ci­sions you make on a day-today ba­sis are your own. Hav­ing said that, there needs to be a good rap­port with the owner, you can gain from his ex­pe­ri­ence and vice versa,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t re­ally know too many busi­nesses that could grow like share milk­ing, not only do you have an in­come through it, you also have an ap­pre­ci­at­ing value, which is the herd.’’

As well as a busi­ness, he saw farm­ing as a way of life and said it was a great en­vi­ron­ment to bring up a fam­ily.

‘‘I can’t think of any­thing bet­ter. We’re all a re­ally tight unit and we’ve had a lot of time together and a lot of fun and that’s some­thing that I can’t put a price on,’’ he said. ‘‘We love liv­ing in the coun­try, we are in such a beau­ti­ful part of the Waikato and have the most amaz­ing views.’’

Caro­line pitches in with the ad­min­is­tra­tion side of things and Mr Eleft­heridis said she was an in­te­gral part of the busi­ness.

‘‘She’s got a re­ally good head on her and I can bounce ideas off her. I couldn’t do it with­out her. We make a great part­ner­ship.’’

Start­ing over: Farmer Yanni Eleft­heridis and wife Caro­line were given the op­por­tu­nity to go back sharemilk­ing af­ter a three-year break.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.