Dairy Industry Awards winners

Published date11 April 2022
Publication titleBush Telegraph
Jono and Kerri Robson were named the 2022 Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa Share Farmers of the Year at the region’s annual awards in Masterton

Other major winners were Amarjeet Kamboj, the 2022 Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Manager of the Year, and Jacob Stolte, the 2022 Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The Robsons are 50/50 herd-owning sharemilkers on Dean Nikora and Alexandra Stewart’s 119ha, 350-cow Waipukurau property. They won $10,586 in prizes and six merit awards.

Jono and Kerri have entered the share farmer category twice previously, while Jono is also a past entrant in the dairy manager category.

They say entering the awards programme in the past has had many benefits, primarily the increased focus on their business and business practices.

“We enjoyed the relationships and other networking avenues that the awards opened up for us and found it inspiring to meet industry powerhouses at the awards dinners.

“The awards helped us recognise the purpose and direction that was best for our business and the feedback provided by the judges was invaluable and knowledgeable.”

The couple has been in the dairy industry for nine years together, with Jono a variable sharemilker in the South Island before meeting Kerri.

Jono holds a Diploma of Agriculture from Telford, while Kerri has a Bachelor in Business Studies and is studying towards a postgraduate qualification in Agribusiness from Massey University.

Jono enjoys the variety of work farming offers and finds the pathway to becoming your own boss very appealing.

“Kerri and I chose farming due to the lifestyle it created for us and our children. I love how our children invent fun from work!”

Kerri had no farming experience prior to meeting Jono.

“I’m now involved in all aspects of the farm from the physical work to networking to the agribusiness side of things.

“I love the life farming provides and the experiences our kids are fortunate to live.”

The Robsons are excited to be part of the future New Zealand dairy industry and feel key points would be around animal management technology, breeding improvements and the use of cows’ diets to minimise environmental impacts.

“We see ourselves as the new generation coming through and strive to be leaders in the industry who will drive it forward in the most sustainable and ethical way possible.”

With that in mind, the couple are changing the way they approach newcomers to the industry.

“We are here to employ, support and train newcomers because we want a successful succession journey within the...

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