NZ Dairy Spring 2021

36 | nz dairy This farm has an additional neighbouring block of 36ha leased and supports some young stock and beef calves. “We are pretty much self contained here except for meal feeding.” In seeking to buy a farm, Doug and Tracey’s “big plan” was originally to secure an equity partner- ship and to leave their sharemilking position and buy a larger farm, but the farm owner’s support to retain their position made the outright purchase of a smaller farm possible. This arrangement satisfied their cash flow requirements, while owning even just 60 hectares would allow them to purchase independently. “Because we wanted our forever home we didn’t want to move farms again, with the gypsy lifestyle in a way. We wanted to be able put down roots and to have a stable home for the kids.” They share-milk 450 cows on 170 hectares on the southern side of Sanctuary Mountain, Maunga- tautari, south of Cambridge, five minutes from their home farm. DAIRY PEOPLE » Doug & Tracey Chappell The importance of fostering sharemilkers Russell Fredric P reserving the path to sharemilking is vital in the face of an increasingly challenging finan- cial and regulatory environment, Waikato dairy farmer Doug Chappell says. Doug and his wife Tracey have had the opportu- nity to walk the path to both sharemilking and farm ownership, but Doug, who is Federated Farmers Waikato sharemilkers section chair, says foster- ing sharemilkers is important to the future of the industry. “We need good sharemilking jobs to allow people to keep progressing through to farm ownership. This is probably the biggest thing at the moment. “There are plenty of ways to achieve that, whether it’s leasing cows or even owners being able to try and support, financially, sharemilkers and if it’s a good worker, trying to encourage them to stay in the industry and progress through.” Doug and Tracey still have a foot solidly in both farming camps, having achieved farm ownership through sharemilking. “We’ve been able to do that through different ways of building equity.” However there are plenty of challenges for poten- tial sharemilkers, with more stringent bank lending criteria one of the key hurdles today. “You’ve got to have sufficient funds and obviously the job’s also got to be able stack up as well. Good cash flow’s not necessarily enough, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the equity to be able to do it.” “We got in when the banks were prepared to support you (more) and if you had a good bank manager I suppose they would bat for you a lot more and be in your corner. “You’ve got to have a good bank manager and good rapport and have a good accountant and good mentors; that’s probably a big part of it.” Skills learnt through tertiary education, primary industry training and Dairy NZ, including financial literacy and understanding budgets, can cut would be sharemilkers out of the herd when fronting a bank manager or applying for a farm position. Doug and Tracey are coming into their eighth season as sharemilkers and their second season as farm owners. With no farming family on Doug’s side, focus, hard work and selling their Te Awamutu house to buy the base of their share-milking herd eventually enabled them to buy their own 60 hectare/160 cow farm on Maru Road, Pukeatua. Tracey and Doug Chappell have walked the path to both sharemilking and farm ownership. Servicing theWaikato since 1943 providing veterinary services and quality health products for all your animals. Proud to support Doug Chappell Specialising In Grass, Maize & Wholecrop Silage • Strip Till Maize Planting • Side Dressing Maize • Muck Spreading • Loader Wagon • Precision Chop Foragers • Trucks & Trailers • Round & Square Baling • Maize Planting, Drilling & Cultivation Proud to support Doug Chappell Campbell - 021 302 620 Paula - 021 302 610 Phone: (07) 872 4344 Phone: (07) 871 3456