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Natasha Price, left, and Aleisha Broomfield with their Waikato Dairy Industry Awards. Photo: SUPPLIED

Former Haurakians scoop dairy awards

Hauraki-raised dairy farmers took home major awards at the Waikato Dairy Industry Awards on March 1.
Aleisha Broomfield, of Patetonga, was announced the winner and first sole female winner of the region’s Share Farmer of the Year and Natasha Price, from the Hauraki Plains was awarded Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Leamington contract milker Chloe Mackle was the Share Farmer of the Year runner-up with Te Awamutu farm assistant Lauren Randall achieving runner-up for Dairy Trainee of the Year.
Aleisha is currently a 50:50 herd-owning sharemilker at Te Aroha and believed working on her business was a key benefit of the awards programme.
“As well as learning more and improving my business, I enjoyed meeting the other entrants and regional teams,” she said.
“It was great to have the recognition of hard work.”
The 33-year-old believed the strengths of her business lay in the proven on-farm performance regarding cows and pastures.
“I have a genuine passion for all things farming, particularly pasture management which allows us to get good performance at a lower cost than others,” she said. “Excellent cost control in the business as well as personally has allowed me to make strong profits year-on-year and build equity.”
Aleisha said she would like to improve the rural-urban divide to ensure others could see the “great work” farmers are doing.
“I’d like to help attract more people to the industry who can see the benefits of running their own businesses and provide more support for those people as they progress up the ladder, so they stay dairying,” she said.
“There are some headwinds and challenges but as an industry we need to work together to all pull in the same direction.”
Natasha Price never considered work on a dairy farm despite growing up on one in the Hauraki Plains, but that all changed when she helped her dad with farm chores during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.
“I always enjoyed spending time with the cows on farm and had many friendly pet cows, however my knowledge of running a farm or the industry as a whole was limited,” she said.
“I spent a lot of time in lockdown researching farming as a career option on Dairy NZ and Primary ITO’s websites and the clear career progression and variety in day-to-day tasks were really compelling to me.
“I was also pleasantly surprised with the large female presence in the industry and the scientific research that forms the basis of everything we do as farmers.”
Natasha, who is currently a farm assistant and second-in-charge of a 108 hectare Morrinsville property with 280 cows, said she was interested in the development and integration of technology in the dairy sector.
“I am lucky enough to work on a farm that uses a cow monitoring system for cow health and mating,” she said.
“Every day I see the benefits for staff and the cows and am eager to see how scientific technology in the dairy industry changes and evolves in the future.”
Natasha said her future farming goals included agriculture work overseas before returning to New Zealand to sharemilk 50:50 and enter an agriscience role at a later stage to give back to the industry through scientific research.
“Another goal is to complete the Kellogg Rural Leadership Program as I believe this will be an important step in understanding the primary sector and developing my leadership skills,” she said.