En­trant builds on ex­pe­ri­ence

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

By JEREMY SMITH Cam­bridge’s Gary McFarlane en­tered the 2013 Dairy In­dus­try Awards, look­ing to build on what he learned when he en­tered last year.

Now, with a lot more ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt, Mr McFarlane is a Farm Man­ager of the Year fi­nal­ist.

“I didn’t make the top six last year, but I’m find­ing this time around a lot eas­ier be­cause you know more of what’s ex­pected.”

He man­ages a 296- hectare farm – 250 of those ef­fec­tive – milk­ing 900 cows. He says there are many pos­i­tives about awards. “It helps me know more about the lo­gis­tics of the busi­ness and get­ting the ba­sics done right. I think one dif­fer­ence be­tween me en­ter­ing last year as op­posed to this year was that last year, while I did break down the as­pects of my busi­ness, I have built on that and it’s a real eye opener.”

Mr McFarlane says it’s about know­ing what ar­eas he is strong in, and em­pha­sis­ing those to the judges. “I think pas­ture man­age­ment has al­ways been one of my strengths and that’s one of the key things on farm.”

An­other strength is staff man­age­ment, he says. He has had sev­eral long- stand­ing staff mem­bers on his farm in re­cent times.

Now in his sec­ond sea­son on his cur­rent farm, Mr McFarlane says he loves the farm­ing in­dus­try be­cause it is like one big fam­ily. “Ev­ery­one knows each other.”

Look­ing ahead, he he wants to work his way to­wards herd own­er­ship then, even­tu­ally, farm own­er­ship.In the im­me­di­ate fu­ture though, he has one more round of judg­ing to pre­pare for be­fore the Waikato win­ners are an­nounced.

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