Award winners to hold field day

Southland/Otago Share Farmers of the Year, national competition runners-up and contract milkers...
Southland/Otago Share Farmers of the Year, national competition runners-up and contract milkers Sam and Karen Bennett will hold a field day in Wyndham next month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Sam and Karen Bennett are hosting a field day in Wyndham to show why they are this year’s Southland/Otago Share Farmers of the Year and national competition runners-up.

The couple are the team leaders for the Southland/Otago share farmer category and encouraged people to enter this year’s awards, which open on October 1.

"For anyone thinking about entering we would say go for it. They will learn a huge amount about their own businesses and the networking is fantastic. We are happy to chat to anyone who wants to find out a bit more information," Mrs Bennett said.

During the field day on October 14, they will talk about their farming operations, environmental practices and challenges, which include the February floods.

"We will touch on flood recovery a little bit but mainly talk about what we do on farm here throughout the season. We are all up to date with our environmental practices so we will just keep pushing forward with the establishment of our Oxbow wetland habitat.

"It is an area of wetland in the middle of our farm, which is non-effective/retired farmland, which we have fenced off and will plant with more native trees to turn it into a wildlife habitat," she said.

Eugene de la Harpe, the 2020 Southland/Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, and Nikayla Dodd, the 2020 Southland/Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year, will both speak at the field day.

Mr and Mrs Bennett, who have a 20-month-old daughter, Alexia, both come from farming backgrounds, although Mr Bennett was a qualified builder before entering the dairy industry in 2014.

They went contract milking in 2016, and now milk 650 cows on the 223ha Wyndham property for Andrew and Jenny Calder, and a further 450 for Mr Bennetts’ father David at Brydone on his 150ha farm.

They employ three full-time staff on the Calder property, and two full-timers and a relief milker at the Bennetts. They milk 280,000kg of milk solids for the Calders and 190,000kg for the Bennetts, and both herds winter away.

They also have 20-month-old daughter, Alexia, who spends a lot of her time on the farm with her parents.


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