Eighty-plus attend ‘fantastic’ field day

Speaking at the Share Farmers of the Year event are from left Southland and Otago’s dairy trainee...
Speaking at the Share Farmers of the Year event are from left Southland and Otago’s dairy trainee of the year Nikayla Dodd, Karen and Sam Bennett, and the region’s dairy manager of the year Eugene de la Harpe. PHOTO: DAIRYNZ
About 80-plus people attended Sam and Karen Bennett’s field day at Wyndham last week.

The couple are the 2020 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards’ Southland and Otago share farmers of the year, and were runners-up in the national competition.

Southland and Otago’s dairy trainee of the year Nikayla Dodd, and the region’s dairy manage of the year Eugene de la Harpe also spoke at the event.

The field day outlined the Bennett’s business, which included hosting a farm walk, and discussing their environmental and financial situations, as well as cost structures and ongoing strategies.

DairyNZ consulting officer for Western Southland Leo Pekar was pleased with the turnout and how well the day went.

"It was a fantastic day."

One of the key interests was how the couple have "eggs in different baskets", by diversifying their investments.

They own six properties, including a section, and they rent the remainder to cover costs and minimise risks.

The Bennetts are contract milkers for Andrew and Jenny Calder and milk 650 cows on 223ha.

They also milk a further 450 cows for Mr Bennett’s father David at Brydone on his 150ha farm.

Visitors also looked at an "oxbow wetland", where the couple are developing a pond to collect sediment.

They are working with Fish & Game New Zealand to stock it with fish.

"The farm got flooded and lot of fencing needed to be done so they used this opportunity to redesign paddocks around the wetland with the much appreciated help from the Farmy Army."

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