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.’’