Entrant builds on experience
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.