Wellsford husband and wife team Colin and Isabella Beazley have taken out the 2019 Northland Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year title.
The couple, who milk 330 cows on Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones’ Shepherd Road property, took home almost $8000 in prizes and also won four merit awards – the Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award, the Honda Farm Safety, Health and Biosecurity Award, the LIC Recording and Productivity Award and the Westpac Business Performance Award.
It was third time lucky for Colin and Isabella, who have entered the awards twice before and achieved third place last year. They said the awards process was a good learning platform and a great way to benchmark themselves against others in the dairy industry, as well as learn more about themselves and their business. Following the awards night last month, they recently held a field day at their property to show off their skills and share their knowledge.
They believed one of their main strengths was the flexibility their split-calving system provided.
“This allows us to keep more control of our costs and ensure workload stability,” Colin said.
It also helps the Beazleys to juggle their work-life balance and ensure they have plenty of time with children Erin, aged 7, and Dayton, aged 2.
“They absolutely love it and they don’t miss out on time with us,” Isabella said. “Another strength is our family support. They are always there to help us out if and when we need it.”
When they are not caring for the cows, the Beazleys enjoy tag rugby, hockey and visiting local beaches.
“We just try to be a happy-go-lucky couple who always see the positives in everything,” Isabella added.
Another Wellsford area dairyman who did well in the awards was Simon Robinson, who placed third in the Dairy Manager of the Year competition, winning just over $1500 and the Webb Ross McNab Kilpatrick Employee Engagement Award. He manages Tapora Trust’s 750-cow, 270 hectare property close to the Kaipara Harbour. He said he enjoyed the discipline and consistency of working with the cows, but loved getting off the farm to go fishing, too.
And Kaiwaka trainee Tipene Hape came third in the Dairy Trainee of the Year section. The 23-year-old, who is a farm assistant on Kevin Sidwell’s 190 hectare farm, milking 425 cows, won $1,250 in prizes and the 2019 Northland DIA Communication & Engagement Award.