Thursday, April 25, 2024

Top honours announced in Auckland/Hauraki dairy regionals 

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Dairy industry could do better at accepting women in senior roles, winner says.
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Teagan Gray has been named the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year.  

The other major winner announced at the region’s annual awards dinner at the Thames Civic Centre was the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year, Emma Williamson.  

There was no Share Farmer of the Year announced for the Auckland/Hauraki region this year, with the judges awarding runner-up to Brad and Courtney Edwards and third place to Casey Meiklejohn.

Brad and Courtney are 50/50 sharemilking for Maureen Martinovich on her 90 hectare, 240-cow property at Ngatea. They won $6525 in prizes and two merit awards.

“We entered the awards as we thought it was a good opportunity to showcase our business and to know the ins and outs of our business and how we run it compared to others,” they said.

The 23-year-olds are both active in the community with hockey and Hauraki Young Farmers, where Courtney is vice-chair.

Gray was presented with the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the year trophy by Trelleborg, and won $9325 in prizes and five merit awards.  

She is a farm manager on Neil and Glenda Gray’s 160ha Thames farm, milking 478 cows. 

In her second season as farm manager, Teagan began working on the farm in 2016 as a farm assistant.  

The 33-year-old holds a Bachelor of Agriscience from Massey University and believes the dairy industry could do better with accepting women into senior management roles.

“You often have to work twice as hard to prove you are capable of the same opportunities on farm,” she said.  

“I hope I can be a positive influence for other women coming through the industry. Dairy farming is a sustainable career for females.”

Steven Pratt was named runner-up of the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager category and is very proud to be providing food on a global basis.

Third place in the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager category went to Owen Clifford.

The winner of the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year category, presented by Trelleborg, is Emma Williamson, a first-time entrant who entered the awards programme to gain experience, take herself out of her comfort zone and meet like-minded people.

She initially began training in sheep and beef through Taratahi Agricultural Centre and worked as a shepherd for a few years then studied education, gaining a Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education.

Caitlin Snodgrass was named runner-up in the 2024 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee category and won $1,400 in prizes. She is farm assistant on Stu and Karen Davey’s 200ha, 566-cow Morrinsville property.

Third place in the Dairy Trainee category was awarded to Katie Rope, who is 2IC assistant manager on Ashley and Ayna Thomas’ 115ha, 450-cow Pukekawa property.

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