Home' Otago Southland Farmer : April 19th 2013 Contents 19.4.13 Farmer
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Oamaru couple win sharemilker title
2013 Canterbury-North Otago Sharemilker-Equity Farmers of the Year Morgan and Hayley Easton.
By DIANE BISHOP
Oamaru sharemilkers Morgan and Hayley Easton have won the 2013
Canterbury-North Otago Sharemilker-Equity Farmer of the Year title.
The Eastons milk 1350 cows for David
and Clare Easton and have spent the
past five years developing the 365ha
property, increasing cow numbers from 450
during that time.
It was the first time the couple had entered
the awards which were announced at the
Hotel Ashburton on April 9.
''We wanted to have most of the
development done before we entered and
have the farm both running and looking the
way we wanted.''
Judges said the sharemilker/equity farmer
contest was tight, and they were extremely
impressed with the calibre of entrants and
farming businesses they are operating.
Morgan holds a Bachelor of Agricultural
Science from Lincoln University, as well as a
Master of Science in Agricultural Economics,
obtained while on a Fulbright Scholarship at
Purdue University in the USA while Hayley
holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and
Management from Leeds University.
She also worked as an assistant accountant
until the couple's first child was born last
The Easton's goal is to buy a farm within five
To help achieve this they run an expanded
artificial insemination programme to
increase young stock and improve herd
breeding worth. They also plan to take on a
second sharemilking position within two
Dorie 50% sharemilkers Andrew and Hayley
Slater were placed second in the
sharemilker/equity farmer contest, winning
$9000, and Culverden lower order
sharemilkers Nigel and Gina Gardner were
third, taking home $7500 in prizes.
The 2013 Canterbury/North Otago Farm
Manager of the Year, Richard Pearse, wants
his reputation in the industry to be based on
honesty and integrity.
He contract milks 955 cows for Graham and
Jane Thomas at Ashburton and is committed
for two more seasons with the Thomas' and
then plans, with partner Susan Geddes, to
progress to sharemilking or equity
''We highly value our reputation in the dairy
industry and as we are looking to progress
further we believe that having
a good image is crucial to our
He also values the input of
those around him like staff,
farm owners and rural
''We aim to ensure -- through
good communication -- that
people feel appreciated and
involved in both the running
of the farm and the business
side of it as well.''
It was the first time he had
entered the awards, after
beginning his dairy farming
career in Balclutha in 2000 and
Second place in the region's farm manager
contest went to Temuka contract milkers
Hamish and Jill Johnson, who won $5900,
and third were Ashburton farm managers
Jason and Paula Strawbridge, winning $2600
The 2013 Canterbury/North Otago Dairy
Trainee of the Year, Adam Caldwell, has
made a winning start to his dairy farming
The 23-year-old is in his first season in the
industry and won $4700 in prizes to claim
He is also employed by the region's winning
farm manager Richard Pearse on the
Ashburton farm owned by the Thomas'.
Adam completed a Bachelor of Commerce in
Agriculture at Lincoln University before
entering the industry and aims to become a
''Entering the dairy awards has given me the
opportunity to meet and network with other
like-minded people in the agricultural sector,
as well as the chance to explore my personal
knowledge of the dairy industry and
improve my communication and interview
The dairy trainee runner-up was Rakaia farm
assistant Jonathon Brown, who won $500,
and third was Oxford production manager
Pat Murphy, winning $250 in prizes.
The Eastons will host a field day on April 30,
while Canterbury/North Otago Farm
Manager of the Year, Richard Pearse, will
host a field day on April 23.
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