[10 April/The Country]

First time entrants, Steve Gillies and Amy Johnson, were the winners of the 2018 Waikato Dairy Industry Awards as the region’s Share Farmer of the Year. Chelsea Smith also won the 2018 Waikato Dairy Manager of the Year, and Aaron Courage the 2018 Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year. Steve and Amy contract milk 470 cows and won $13,750 in prizes. They planned to progress through the industry by obtaining sharemilking positions. Amy previously worked as a DairyNZ consulting officer and is now an Agri Manager with ANZ. Steve said that he didn’t choose farming as a career, farming chose him. Will and Kirsten Rolton were runners up. Chelsea Smith said she loved the variation in dairy farming and the support and growth potential within the industry. Aaron Courage noted that he would like to breed quality animals that had a positive impact on the industry.