Dairy Awards Highlight Immigrant Commitment 

May 7, 2017

The value of new immigrants to the dairy industry was on show at the Dairy Industry Awards in Auckland last night.

Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman Andrew Hoggard says while immigration builds as an election issue, it was particularly significant that runner up to the most prestigious award were 33 year-old Filipino immigrants Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos.

The couple have worked their way up through the dairy industry and are a shining example of the significant contribution and leadership our immigrants can provide. They also won the  Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene merit award.

“It is debatable whether the Santoses would have been allowed to stay in this country under the new rules being proposed,” Andrew says.

“I imagine a lot of the Filipino staff on New Zealand farms will take pride in this achievement with them. In these times of anti-immigrant sentiment, Carlos and Bernice exemplify how a country can be so much richer for having people of their calibre in it.”

Over 500 farmers, their families and those supporting the dairy industry gathered in Auckland to celebrate the remarkable success of the industry and those who had been judged the best in their field.

One of the significant judging criteria was environmental stewardship.  

“It was clear that just like thousands of farmers around the country, these farmers  are determined and proud to leave for our children farms which are more profitable and more environmentally sustainable than when we found them.”

Federated Farmers would like to congratulate not only the award winners, but all those who entered regional competitions, nationwide.

“It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there to be judged, especially when financial and climatic conditions may not be ideal,”  Andrew says.

The Federated Farmers Leadership Award was won by Jon and Vicki Nicholls.

Christopher and Siobhan O’Malley were named the 2017 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year, Hayley Hoogendyk became the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Clay Paton was announced the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.