Hawke’s Bay farmers Nick and Nicky Dawson have led a clean sweep for Fonterra suppliers at the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.
Nick and Nicky claimed the 2020 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award, winning the John Wilson Memorial Trophy at the Awards, which were held online on Saturday 4 July.
Nick and Nicky claimed the 2020 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award
It’s not the first time Nick and Nicky have been recognised for their sustainability efforts, winning the Supreme Award at the 2019 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
The couple have been farming in Patoka for about 20 years, starting as sharemilkers before buying the farm outright last year. “Farmers are being looked at from all angles at the moment, so we want to be role models for other dairy farmers so they can also do what’s right for the animals and the land.”
Nick and Nicky also regularly host visitors and school groups. “Many kids these days don’t have connections to farms, so it’s important that we make that connection for them. From showing the little ones where milk actually comes from to sharing some of the many career opportunities with the older ones, we really want to show what a wonderful and vibrant industry dairy farming is.”
Co-op farmers also won the other three major titles. Bay of Plenty’s Andre Meier became the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Grace Gibberd from Waikato was awarded the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.
Waikato sharemilkers Aidan and Sarah Stevenson were second, with Southland/Otago contract milkers Samuel and Karen Bennett coming third.
Dairy Manager of the Year, Andre Meier, is Farm Manager on Ao Marama Farms’ 250ha Te Puke property, milking 800 cows. The judges said he stood out as a proactive manager and leader who constantly seeks opportunities to grow and learn and helps others to do the same.
Dairy Manager Andre Meier, Bay of Plenty (Photo Credit: NZ Dairy Exporter)
Grace Gibberd from Waikato was awarded the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year
Andre has a focus on animal welfare and cites once-a-day milking as a strength of the business.
Andre chose dairy farming as his career as he enjoys working with animals and being outdoors. “No day is the same and there are challenges every day,” he says. “Now that I’m managing, I enjoy striving to achieve the best results.”
Manawatu's Paul Mercer was second, with Daisy Higgs from Waikato third.
The judges predict the Dairy Trainee of the Year, Grace Gibberd will be a great ambassador and role model for the Dairy Industry.
Grace has a passion for animals, people and her role as Farm Assistant on the DairyNZ 115ha property at Newstead, milking 360 cows.
Sam Dodd from Taranaki was second, with Tom Quinn from Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa third.