Te Awamutu TSR Jarno Sammet is an ideas guy. One of his ideas even won him second place in the Farm Source Great Ideas Drive last year. But Jarno doesn’t just think of great ideas - he actually follows through with them. Some years ago, for example, Jarno and his partner thought about emigrating from their native Germany. They took action and now call New Zealand home.
“My partner and I came to New Zealand from Germany eight years ago for a better lifestyle,” he says.
Jarno arrived here with a degree in Agronomy and seven years’ experience as a farm advisor in Germany. He also spent five years in forestry prior to studying at University.
Working for an agricultural contractor was Jarno’s first New Zealand gig, before starting with RD1 in Otorohanga and eventually becoming assistant manager there. Both proved great preparation for his current role as Farm Source TSR.
“After working in contracting I know the technical side and can advise on which machine is best suited for the job. And I worked on the Farm Source shop floor for five years, so I know the products we sell and how our system works which helps to speed things up for my farmers,” he says.
Jarno’s been one of the two TSRs working from the Te Awamutu Farm Source store for two years now and his German pragmatism goes down well with the 250 farmers he supports in Te Awamutu East.
“Being German I’m very direct and get straight to the point, which most farmers appreciate,” he says.
Right now, he’s applying his straight-shooting German practicality to helping farmers manage their pasture cover, cow condition and health ahead of calving.
“There are still a lot of damaged paddocks out there from last winter and spring. Many farmers thought their pasture looked good because of the summer grass and clover, but now they have opened up. So we’re talking a lot around nutrition and supplements,” he says.
June sees new sharemilkers and contract milkers arrive in the region, which means plenty of new faces in the shop and new relationships to be built.
“I work closely together with the area managers to make sure we get in contact with all the new farmers in a timely manner and welcome them to the region,” he says.
Sorting out the early-bird maize orders is also on the radar - it’s a big task to secure the thousands of bags they supply every year. His specialist expertise in weed sprays gets called on often too.
“Farmers in the South Waikato grow a wide range of crops which means it’s busy and keeps things interesting as they all have different needs. Te Awamutu is famous for its Yellow Bristle Grass problem so I’m pretty busy helping farmers with an individualised 4-year plan to eradicate it," he says.
Jarno recalls working with one farmer recently who purchased a farm that had no re-grassing done for eight years. The paddocks had reverted back to native grasses and weeds and he had to drop cow numbers as a result.
“We set-up a re-grassing plan together for the next three years to get the farm up to speed again by utilising crops and under-sowing and using a mixture of annuals, Italians, hybrids and perennial grasses,” says Jarno.
If a second opinion or help during the busiest periods is needed, specialist vendor reps are just a phone call away.
"It is about helping our shareholders to produce as much milk as they can which - in the end - benefits us all."
“It is essential to have a good relationship with vendor reps and they are a big help with sharing the workload in the peak seasons.
“At the end of the day it is all about our farmer needs. Our advice to farmers is always given with their best interests in mind. It is not about making money and meeting sales targets, it is about helping our shareholders to produce as much milk as they can which - in the end – benefits us all. This is unique to Farm Source,” says Jarno. And that definitely sounds like a pretty good idea.