Cou­ple of cham­pi­ons

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By LIBBY KIS­SICK

South Waikato dairy farm­ers Eddie and Anne White, of Pu­taruru, are soon to em­bark on a whirl­wind trip to Malaysia as Fon­terra Cham­pi­ons.

Af­ter out­shin­ing fel­low share­hold­ers in Fon­terra’s re­cent 100 word com­pe­ti­tion, the cou­ple flew out to Kuala Lumpur last Fri­day with of­fi­cials from Fon­terra Co-op­er­a­tive Group Ltd.

The cou­ple will ex­pe­ri­ence first hand the op­por­tu­ni­ties NZ dairy milk has cre­ated in Malaysia.

They will also spend time with All Black great and Fon­terra Am­bas­sador Richie McCaw.

The ru­ral care­tak­ers of 110ha and 50ha farms, which are home to a dairy herd of 340, started out as sharemilk­ers.

The third- gen­er­a­tion farm­ers are look­ing for­ward the most to meet­ing Richie McCaw and learn­ing more about Malaysia, Fon­terra’s ac­tiv­i­ties, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a dif­fer­ent cul­ture.

‘‘We are ab­so­lutely look­ing for­ward to it. It will be fan­tas­tic to meet Richie McCaw, who is an ab­so­lute leg­end,’’ he said.

Mr White ad­mits their six chil­dren, Brid­get, Sinead, Conor, Therese, Roisin, and Ed­mund are jeal­ous of their par­ents get­ting to meet the All Black.

Mr White said he rushed the 100 word win­ning en­try one evening.

‘‘It has all hap­pened very fast,’’ he said.

He wasn’t sure why they were cho­sen but felt their fam­ily’s in­volve­ment on the farm and in the community may have had some­thing to do with it.

‘‘ You had to write 100 words on why you thought you were a Fon­terra Cham­pion. It was about your val­ues and at­ti­tudes to­wards be­ing good care­tak­ers of the land.

‘‘ We are not cor­po­rate farm­ers. That was the thing about the com­pe­ti­tion, it was worded quite well. You didn’t have to be the big­gest or flash­est.

‘‘ I think the fact I am in­volved with the lo­cal rugby club helped; Anne and I are both in­volved in a lot of things in the community.

‘‘Our fam­ily is a part of Eddie and Anne White, cen­tre, cel­e­brate their new ti­tle of Fon­terra Cham­pi­ons on the Pu­taruru fam­ily farm with four of their chil­dren, Therese, Ed­mund, Roisin and Conor. our community and get in­volved.’’

‘‘We are slightly ner­vous about the heat. It is 35 de­grees over there at the mo­ment.’’

While the priv­i­leged pair are away, it will be busi­ness as usual on the farm, with as­sis­tant man­ager Don­ald Reid tak­ing care of the ar­ti­fi­cial breed­ing and a re­lief milker fill­ing in at the cow­shed.

Fon­terra Di­rec­tor of Co­op­er­a­tive Af­fairs Todd Muller said the com­pany was highly im­pressed by the cal­i­bre of each of the 300 Fon­terra share­holder en­trants. ‘‘We could have no bet­ter cou­ple to cham­pion Fon­terra.

‘‘They still find time to be ac­tively in­volved in their lo­cal community, where they’re re­garded as un­sung heroes.’’

Libby Kis­sick is a Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent.


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