[26 March/NZ Farmer]

Wendy and Richard Ridd won the Manawatu dairy industry sharemilkers award and planned to pay off their debt at $100,000 a year whilst simultaneously improving herd performance. Ms Ridd said their core values were respect, teamwork, price and education, and that they had come to understand how important the relationships with the people they deal with were. She said they were passionate about the industry but they saw threats in the way of payout volatilities, interest rates, biosecurity and public perception. Manawatu farm manager of the year, Ange Strawbridge, said having a work life balance was tough. She added that people were the strengths of the farm she worked for, and said heavy soil and pugging was their main issue. Her short term goals involved caring for her three children.