Waikato dairy farmer Tony Wilding is the new chairman of the employers section while Tararua farmer Neil Filer has been elected chairman of the federation’s sharemilkers’ section.
“The sharemilking system has been a fantastic pathway to farm ownership for us and remains so for many others. Yet today I also see more ways to farm ownership,” Wilding said.
“Farm owners and sharemilkers need to look to the future instead of lamenting the past. As farmers, we need to evolve our businesses to match the changes in the wider industry, which is a terrific but challenging one to be in.
“Before either sharemilkers or farm owners considering the sharemilking system enter into a business relationship I spend a lot of time with both sides.
“Getting all the detail in sharemilking contracts is just so important these days. It is about due diligence so both are fully aware of where the costs and responsibilities lie. Get it right and both parties flourish,” he said.
Filer said he is passionate about sharemilking and the role it plays in the industry.
“I’ve been through the Sharemilker of the Year as well as the New Zealand Young Farmer of the Year competitions but it was when I attended a Federated Farmers leadership course that my eyes fully opened to what needs doing,” Filer said.
“I got involved because someone had to look out for the sharemilkers in Tararua where I farm. I took on that role and have progressed up the ranks so to speak.
“The sharemilking system is evolving and we are mindful that pathways to farm ownership will change with it. Yet sharemilking is generally a success because it is a proper business relationship.
“At the end of the day sharemilking is a business partnership and the more you know about the business and the personalities, the better it is for all-concerned. And, as I always stress to sharemilkers, if you decide to take up the offer never leave the contract unsigned,” Filer said.