Finalist thrives on diversity
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.