The 2019 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards winners are a smart, humble and practical couple who are doing very well at dairy farming on a challenging property in Northland.
In front of a capacity audience of 580 people at Wellington’s TSB Arena last month, Colin and Isabella Beazley from Northland were named the 2019 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year, Canterbury’s Matt Redmond became the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Nicola Blowey, also from Canterbury was announced the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.
Share Farmer head judge Kevin McKinley, from DairyNZ, says the Beazley’s impressed the judges with their resilience, team work and attention-to-detail. "They are such a great team and complement each other with their roles on farm."
The Beazleys, both aged 31, are 50/50 Sharemilkers for Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones milking 330 cows on the 163ha Wellsford property.
The couple have entered the Awards twice previously and were third placegetters last year in the same category. They believe in the Awards programme as a learning platform to network, benchmark themselves against others in the industry and learn more about themselves personally and their business.
In winning the national title, Colin and Isabella demonstrated strengths in pasture management, leadership, environment and health and safety. They also won four merit awards; the Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award, the Federated Farmers Leadership Award, the Honda Farm Safety, Health & Biosecurity Award and the Meridian Farm Environment Award.
Fellow Share Farmer judge Matt Richards, from Southland says a good example of their pasture management is the way they work with the Kikuya grass they have but are also trying to eliminate it at the same time. "They had a really good understanding of pasture and crop eaten and importance of it in terms of driving operating profit."
The judges also noted that the Beazleys weren’t afraid to trial new things and were innovative around pasture species and management and their use of technology. "Colin uses a drone to check on the cows and has even delivered a coffee by drone to a staff member working down the back of the farm," explains Matt.
Judge Jacqui Groves from Westpac noted how strong Colin and Isabella were in their community involvement and leadership. "They have awesome relationships with the people in their local community and are fully immersed in many activities, from Plunket to St John’s to footy and badminton."
The Beazleys impressed the judges with their use of social media to ‘spread the good word about dairy farming’, and their strong family values and attention-to-detail in all areas of their business stood out.
"Everything was well thought-out and well-planned. They are super organised and hold their staff in high-esteem."
Kevin says the judges were very impressed overall at the high calibre of this year’s finalists. "We’ve been from one end of the country to the other and we have met an outstanding group of people excelling within the industry."
"They have a good work life balance, they still work hard but they find the time to pursue interests off-farm such as sport, and time with family and friends."
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and Westpac along with industry partners DairyNZ and PrimaryITO.
Click here for more information on the awards and winners.