Despite three of the four partners living in the North Island the success of a Southland farming business can be attributed to exceptional teamwork and good clear lines of communication.
Each partner brings strengths to the table but no one is above the others. They are all equals, make decisions as a group and share in the spoils of their collective success.
MOBH Farm, an equity partnership made up of Kevin Hall, Tim Montgomerie, Jodie Heaps and Mark Turnwald, won two category awards as well as being named the supreme winner at the 2018 Dairy Business of the Year awards (DBOY).
The awards used farm data from the 2016-17 season.
Judges said MOBH stood out in all areas.
Production was 331,000 kilograms of milksolids and at 486kg MS a cow was the highest of all finalists and achieved on an 82% pasture-based system.
The return on capital of 7.9% was significantly higher than any other finalist and their operating profit margin of 46.3% was the second highest.
Environmentally, the farm scored highly with 10 out of 15. All waterways have been fenced and riparian planting is done.
The partnership won the Best Southland Farm Performance Award.
Judges said MOBH achieved an outstanding financial performance on the back of the second-highest operating margin and second-lowest cost of production at $3.25/kg MS.
It also won the award for Medium Input Farm with the Best Financial Performance.
Montgomerie said the win came as surprise to them all as they entered to benchmark the business against other top farms.
“It is pretty cool,” he said.
“Winning the supreme award is really good recognition of Jodie and his team and how they manage and run the farm on a day-to-day basis and also of the partnership.”
They had entered twice previously as the competition is numbers-based and a good platform for farmers looking to crunch numbers.
“Every decision we make is based on the numbers,” Montgomerie said.
“We are a team and make all of those decisions together.”
Partners, from left, Kevin Hall, Jodie Heaps and Tim Montgomerie say their success lies in their teamwork and individual strengths. All decisions are made as a group and based on numbers.
Owners: MOBH Farm Partnership
Location: Gore, Southland
Farm Size: 200ha, 80ha lease, runoff 132ha
Cows: 700 crossbred
Production: 2016-2017 331,000kgMS, 2017-2018 315,000kg MS
Target: 2018-2019 335,000kg MS
Staff: Manager and three others
Total cows 680
Effective area: 265.3ha
Production: 486kg MS/cow, 1247kg MS/ha
Return on capital: 7.9%
Operating profit margin: 46.3%
Operating profit/ha: $4050
Cost of production/kg MS: $3.25
Operating expenses/kg MS: $3.77
Pasture harvest: 12.3t DM/ha
Pasture % of feed: 81.8%
Core per cow costs: $746
Labour efficiency cows /FTE: 175
Environ score out of 15: 10
HR Score out of 15: 7.6