Home' Otago Southland Farmer : June 28th 2013 Contents 6
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Warwick Brown 211 2221
or 027 516 2562
Farm improvement drive reaps bank prize
Happy times: Wyndham farm
manager Murray Kennedy, with wife
Marcia, has received the 2013
Rabobank Farm Managers Program
prize for his efforts in improving
efficiency and productivity on the
Jedburgh farm the couple manage.
By DIANE BISHOP
Wyndham farmer manager Mur-
ray Kennedy wants to be the best
manager he can be.
The 35-year-old is well on his way
to achieving that goal after he
won the 2013 Rabobank Farm
Managers Program prize for his
project focused on efficiency and
productivity gains, while jointly
building his own farming aspira-
He received the award at the
Rabobank Farm Manager
Program graduation dinner held
in Melbourne recently.
Mr Kennedy and his wife Marcia
manage Jedburgh, a 20,000 stock
unit sheep and beef property
where they farm 11,000 Texel
Romney ewes, 3250 ewe hoggets,
280 breeding cows and 250 calves
on 3500 hectares.
Now in its eighth year, the
prestigious Rabobank scheme
continues to offer young farmers,
from across New Zealand and
Australia, the opportunity to
develop and enhance their busi-
ness management skills.
Mr Kennedy, who has managed
Jedburgh for the past 10 years, is
passionate about farming and
focused on delivering results for
the long-term ''continuous
growth'' of the business.
''I've tried to introduce structures
across our farm business that
support sustainable growth for
''I'm employed as a manager and I
want to be the best manager I can
be,'' she said.
Mr Kennedy's project had two
main focal points -- to extract
efficiency gains across the busi-
ness through ''miniature pro-
jects'', and to build equity by
capturing new opportunities.
Along with the property owner he
has introduced a programme to
manage lambing percentages
much better and was maximising
opportunities to rear triplet
With 11,000 ewes and a targeted
annual lambing percentage of 140
per cent, Kennedy has seen about
10 per cent of the progeny born as
''By adopting the third lamb and
giving the ewe the chance to raise
two rather than three, pro-
ductivity gains were made in the
lambing process,'' he said.
Mr Kennedy believes there are a
lot of inefficiencies in the
agricultural industry -- from the
farm gate to the dinner plate.
''I believe improvements can be
made -- farmers need to become a
collective group and be positive
''There are opportunities out
there and it's up to us farmers to
realise them and go for it.''
Mr Kennedy has strong ambitions
to secure a future for himself and
his family in the agricultural
''It's not easy to build equity and
the goalposts seem to keep
moving when you are in the
Rabobank chief executive Ben
Russell commended Mr Kennedy
for his project.
''Murray showed us how it wasn't
just about coming back to the
farm from the program and doing
more, but going back to the farm
and doing the right things,'' he
Legendary event sees
Legend: Emma McLean, Rubyjane Davis and Ella Fry with Kevin Laidlaw at a 2012
Living Legends event.
Rugby legend Kevin Laidlaw will be
mucking in alongside volunteers to
complete the Living Legends plant-
ing project in Southland in August.
Living Legends is a conservation
project that was established in 2011
to leave a legacy of New Zealand's
hosting of the Rugby World Cup by
planting trees with rugby legends in
locations throughout New Zealand.
A staggering 129,000 native trees
have been planted so far. Living
Legends is returning to 14 locations
across the country to plant a further
41,000 trees this year, completing the
Each planting project is dedicated to
a rugby legend from the region. The
rugby legends were selected in 2011
by each region's provincial rugby
union based on their significant
contribution to rugby.
Laidlaw was selected as the South-
land representative and and will be
helping to complete the planting
project at Bushy Point on August 24.
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