West Coast dairy winners toasted

Published date14 April 2021
Publication titleWest Coast Farming Times, The
Mark Roberts and Sian Madden were announced winners of the region's Share Farmer of the Year Category at the West Coast/Top of the South Dairy Industry Awards annual awards dinner held in Shantytown.

The other big winners were Rachael Lind, who was named the 2021 West Coast/Top of the South Dairy Manager of the Year, and Sam Smithers, the 2021 West Coast/Top of the South Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Mark and Sian are contract milkers and 20% sharemilkers on Stu and Jan Moir's (Moir Farms Ltd) 215ha and 377ha Reefton farms, milking 1300 cows across the two properties.

They won $6500 in prizes and three merit awards.

"We have a genuine passion for the dairy industry and are committed to farming sustainably and showing others how we do this for future generations," the couple said.

"We see ourselves at the front of the pack, farming in a 'back-tobasics' way, but also embracing technology and new ways to enhance our on-farm environmental practices."

They formed their business Madden Roberts Farming in 2019 and aim to progress to farm ownership. The couple say their business organisation is one of their biggest strengths across both farms.

"We have set our business up to run efficiently by creating manuals, templates, policies and procedures that we change to suit each farm."

Mark runs the physical side of the farm, leaving Sian to do the organisational and paperwork side of things.

"We are working towards farm ownership and know what we need to do to get there. We have a set timeline and goals," Sian said.

Challenges include their location, attracting staff, juggling family and not having a support base. A desire to see their team at work and make decisions that directly impact their family and the livelihoods of their staff drives them during the harder times.

"We want to grow, own and operate our own family dairy farm on the West Coast that provides sustainable, environmentallyfriendly, quality products, allowing us personal, professional and financial freedom," Mark said.

Runner-up in the West Coast/Top of the South Share Farmer category was Kelley Molloy, a first-time entrant who loves seeing her cows every day.

"They are what get me up in the morning."

Kelley is 50/50 sharemilking for Keith and Angela Kelly on their 180ha, 350-cow farm at Whataroa.

She won $2250 in prizes and three merit awards.

A qualified AB technician, she grew up on a sheep and beef farm, and entered the dairy industry when she left school at 17.

"I started off as a rookie that knew...

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