Dairy farm­ers back in run­ning


Ed Au­ton and Re­becca Walker were not born into the world of dairy farm­ing but it ap­pears they may have been born for it.

The cou­ple have been se­lected as fi­nal­ists in the Waikato Farm Manager of the Year in the Waikato Dairy In­dus­try Awards.

The con­tract milk­ers are on their first sea­son on a Ti­rau farm, milk­ing around 390 cows.

Ed, who is orig­i­nally from North­land, said they are hop­ing to im­prove on their im­pres­sive third place­ment in last year’s awards.

‘‘Qui­etly, we would be stoked with sec­ond or even a first place if we were good enough.’’

He said the awards have been a great ve­hi­cle for mo­ti­vat­ing the pair.

‘‘We wanted to have peo­ple in our line of busi­ness see what we’re do­ing well and what we could do bet­ter... It is hu­man na­ture some­times to just cruise.’’

But the pair have a goal of farm own­er­ship on the 15-year-plan and are set on achiev­ing it.

Ed Au­ton and Re­becca Walker are hop­ing to im­prove on their third place award in last year’s Waikato Farm Manager of the Year cat­e­gory.

‘‘We want to lift our pro­file to get our names out there.’’

Last year’s en­try was well worth the ef­fort, he said, and he is ex­pect­ing noth­ing less for 2015.

The pair are marked on ev­ery­thing from health and safety and hu­man re­sources to fi­nan­cial anal­y­sis per­for­mance and over­all per­for­mance of the farm it­self.

‘‘I just think it’s a hugely valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘I would cer­tainly rec­om­mend peo­ple pas­sion­ate about pro­gress­ing in the in­dus­try to jump in and en­ter.’’

The 27-year-old said it has re­quired the cou­ple to step out­side of their com­fort zones.

‘‘It’s not some­thing I would chose to do - present for two hours - but it made it a lot eas­ier hav­ing Bex there.’’


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