Fi­nal­ist thrives on di­ver­sity

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

By DANIEL WHIT­FIELD Mor­rinsville’s Clem Schol­lum has been nom­i­nated for the Waikato Dairy In­dus­try Awards in the Waikato Farm Man­ager of the Year cat­e­gory.

Af­ter grow­ing up around Mahia Penin­sula at­tend­ing Mount Al­bert Gram­mar School, Mr Schol­lum be­gan farm­ing at 17 in Dargaville.

Af­ter three years’ work­ing with dry stock, he de­cided to go to Massey Univer­sity in Palmer­ston North, where he gained a Cer­tifi­cate in Sci­ence.

He then worked as a con­tract fencer for five years be­fore re­turn­ing to farm­ing, this time dairy. Work­ing on a 235-hectare farm with over 900 cows, Mr Schol­lum is en­ter­ing his fourth sea­son as farm man­ager at Keith Holmes’ farm near Tauhei.

He says farm­ing is not what it used to be. “There’s a huge amount of di­ver­sity, es­pe­cially with the tech­nol­ogy, re­search and devel­op­ment, which I en­joy. There are so many dif­fer­ent parts of farm­ing that al­ways keeps you busy. You have to be the weath­er­man, work with ma­chin­ery and an­i­mals as well as hav­ing great skills across the board.”

Mr Schol­lum man­ages three peo­ple full­time, and one ex­tra dur­ing the busy pe­riod. “We have a full team and ev­ery­one works hard.”

He en­tered the awards last year, but did not get through, how­ever he was given feed­back from the judges and worked on what needed to be fixed.

In the first round of judg­ing, fi­nal­ists had to de­liver a two-hour pre­sen­ta­tion the farm. They looked at farm man­age­ment over­all, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, hu­man re­source man­age­ment, fi­nan­cial is­sues and fu­ture aims.

His aims in­cluded pro­gress­ing through the in­dus­try and look­ing to go into 50/50 sharemilk­ing.

He faces an­other judg­ing round this week with three judges from out­side the Waikato.

FI­NAL­IST: Mor­rinsville farm man­ager Clem Schol­lum.

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