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The other major winners at the Southland Otago Dairy Industry Awards, held recently in Gore, were farm managers of the year Nick Templer and Anieka Venekamp, and dairy trainee of the year Jeremy Anderson.
The Bavins are in their third season 50% sharemilking 500 cows for Blair and Rachael Evans. Mr Bavin (32) has been in the industry since leaving school in Wellington at the age of 16 to study farming at Telford.
The couple have progressed through farm working, managing and lower order sharemilking. South Otago 50% sharemilkers Russell and Tracy Bouma were runners up in the sharemilker/equity farmer contest, with Mokoreta equity sharemilkers James and Fleur Worker third.
Mr Templer (28) and Ms Venekamp (29) are in their third season contract milking 650 cows for Lyall and Jan Hopcroft at Balfour.
Winton farm manager Irving Solis was second and Edendale contract milkers Mick and Jess Annan were third.
A qualified builder and now in his second season dairy farming, Mr Anderson (25) is 2IC on Mike and Cindy Adams' Otautau farm, milking 940 cows.
Waituna herd manager Jamie MacDonald was second and Heddon Bush trainee manager Ronald Gardiner was third.