Dairy farm­ing fu­ture bright

South Waikato News - - OPINION - By MARY ANN MATHIS

South Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers chair­woman

There have been a lot of changes go­ing on in our neigh­bour­hood lately.

De­spite all the neg­a­tive re­ports in the me­dia about the fu­ture for young farm­ers in the dairy in­dus­try, it is ob­vi­ous in our com­mu­nity that this is not the case.

There have been a num­ber of peo­ple mov­ing into new farm jobs and peo­ple mov­ing up the lad­der from lower or­der sharemilk­ing (a sim­i­lar po­si­tion as con­tract build­ing) to 50/50 sharemilk­ing po­si­tions where they own the cows.

Build­ing a busi­ness of any kind re­quires com­mit­ment and what I heard re­ferred to the other day as ‘‘sweat eq­uity’’ in the early stages.

The co-op­er­a­tive na­ture of the dairy in­dus­try pro­vides farm­ers start­ing out with a wealth of sup­port and men­tor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties funded mainly by the levies we all pay based on our milk pro­duc­tion. DairyNZ groups such as BizGrow and Pas­turePlus are ex­cel­lent places to gain farm and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment skills. Be­ing in­volved in th­ese sorts of ac­tiv­i­ties also helps cop­ing when times are stress­ful, such as dur­ing the re­cent drought.

Since the early 1950s, there has been an an­nual din­ner or so­cial night or­gan­ised to wel­come new farm­ers into the area. It is a great op­por­tu­nity to meet peo­ple be­fore calv­ing starts.

The Wel­come In is on Wed­nes­day, June 26, at the South­ern United Rugby Clu­b­rooms on Mos­sop Rd.

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