Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Top trainee keen to do well

Five years of dairy farming have convinced Northland’s Dairy Trainee of the Year he has what it takes to progress in the industry and build his equity. Jake Thomson, the assistant manager on the farm owned by John and Jacqui Kehoe, of Maromaku, wants to own and sharemilk a herd of 400-plus cows.

“I don’t want to just do it, I want to do it well. I want to be a knowledgeable, skilful and respected dairy farmer,” Jake, 24, said on his entry form.

He’s in his second season on the farm, which has 350 cows on 280ha. He’s married to Alana and they have a 10-month-old daughter, Hana.

After three AgITO qualifications – an apprenticeship, production management and milk quality, stage two – Jake wants to complete his Diploma in Agribusiness Management while progressing from herd manager to contract milker and then sharemilker.

Entering the awards was a great way to gauge his career and personal development, he said.

“I got feedback from entering last year and have been able to re-motivate myself to get ahead. I met awesome people and I enjoyed being around people who are passionate about dairy farming.”

Jake also won the Cervus Equipment Farming Knowledge Award.

Kokopu trainee Luke Boylan placed second and Dargaville trainee Julia Mathis was third in the Dairy Trainee of the Year competition.

Jamie Lang, of Whangarei, won the DairyNZ Practical Skills Award.

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