Fonterra farmers continued their strong history winning all three national titles at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards gala dinner in Auckland.
Hayden and Bridget Goble from Taranaki were named the 2023 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, Canterbury/North Otago’s Jack Symes became the 2023 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Bill Hamilton from Northland won the 2023 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year title.
Share Farmers of the Year Hayden and Bridget are 20% VO equity partners together with Bridget Mooney, Kevin Goble and Diane Goble on their 200ha, 565-cow New Plymouth property.
2023 NZ Share Farmers of the Year Hayden and Bridget Goble
“Their goals are aligned and they are genuinely passionate about the community in which they farm, and caring for the environment. There is power in their partnership.”
Waikato’s Aleisha Broomfield was second in the Share Farmer category with Jonathon & Stacey Hoets from Canterbury/North Otago third.
The 2023 Dairy Manager of the Year Jack Symes stood out as a an intelligent, humble and personable farmer who is focused on quality all-year round.
Jack is farm manager on Judy and Brian Symes’ 160ha, 630-cow property at Southbridge. The first-time entrant grew up on a dairy farm and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University.
“Jack is the full package,” says head judge Renee Rooney. “He gets the grassroots basics right, through to in-depth technical knowledge, including financial acumen.”
José Hamber from Manawatū was second with Auckland/Hauraki’s Finja Philips, third.
2023 NZ Dairy Manager of the Year Jack Symes
2023 NZ Dairy Trainee of the Year Bill Hamilton
The 2023 Dairy Trainee of the Year Bill Hamilton from Northland is described by the judges as strong across all fields and an excellent all-round farmer.
Bill is farm assistant on Richard and Sharon Booth’s 395-cow, 174ha property at Titoki, employed by Andrew and Vicky Booth.
Brayden Johnston from Canterbury/North Otago was second with Manawatū’s Sarah Powell third.
The winner of the Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award (the John Wilson Memorial Trophy) was also announced at the gala dinner. This year it was presented to Oxford farmer Cameron Henderson.
The prestigious award was introduced by the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards and Fonterra to recognise dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainability and who are respected by their fellow farmers and their community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairying.
The judges were impressed with Cameron’s extensive leadership roles and community involvement in a number of local and national projects and organisations.
“Cameron is essentially spending more time involved with community projects than farming,” notes judge Michael Heard.
“He’s built his business to give him the flexibility to really get involved in the numerous environmental projects he is passionate about, including being a founder and trustee of the Waimakariri Landcare Trust, a member of the ECan Regional Water committee and various roles on the Dairy Environment Leaders group.”
2023 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award winner Cameron Henderson and wife Sarah