NZ Dairy Summer 2021

48 | nzdairy whether it is simply stable employment or something more ambitious while also trying to accommodate their personal needs such as time off when needed or incentivising achievements with bonuses. Dairy farm owners today are facing numerous challenges, especially those related to labour shortages, the unprecedented speed of regulatory change and public perception about the dairy industry, Wendy says. There is acceptance in the industry that changes are needed in relation to the environment, emissions and climate change, but there is extreme bias against dairying from some quarters, she says. “It’s getting harder and harder all the time because there’s always so many expectations coming from society and customers and government, but that’s coming in for everyone. “Farming is quite difficult at the moment, trying to future-proof yourself and understand what’s required (even) without the goal post shifting.” Lance and Wendy have sought to be leaders and innovators when it comes to excellence in the industry, including through Synlait’s Lead With Pride programme which encompasses four pillars – environment, animal health, social responsibility – which includes staff, and milk quality. They were instrumental in assisting Synlait to develop the programme and were the first of its suppliers to be awarded the company’s Gold Elite status for their farming practices. Ownership hard work but satisfying Russell Fredric DAIRY PEOPLE » Lance & Wendy Main Hard work underpinned by setting and achieving goals are two cornerstones that helped Lance and Wendy Main buy their own dairy farm. The couple own a self-contained 255 hectare dairy unit in Oxford, North Canterbury, that peak milks 540 cows, having started their career in the industry on a farm with just 80 cows. Over a period of about 20 years they worked as managers, contract milkers and sharemilkers, accumulating valuable knowledge and experience that provided an excellent foundation towards farm ownership. After working on the 80 cow farm in South Auckland, Lance and Wendy managed farms and lower order sharemilked, eventually taking on a 180 cow position in Kaitaia for four years before moving to the South Island. “We 50:50 sharemilked 220 cows in Oamaru, 500 in Gore three years later then 700 in Waimate three years after that and we went back to Southland in an equity partnership which was 800 cows on the home farm and we also took on a 600 cow sharemilkers job across the road.” “We had a plan that we were going to own our own farm in 25 years from 1998, but we managed to do it in 2010.” “We started off (at Oxford) with 160 hectares and 300 cows and then we bought an adjoining property and gradually increased to 540.” Wendy describes the journey as hard work, but satisfying, while the experience of working in diverse farm systems has helped in decision making on their own farm; some of the most important lessons they learned came from the most difficult situations. Lance and Wendy employ a contract milker because they were keen to give others the opportunities they had to move up the dairy ladder and ultimately into farm ownership. “This is our fifth year with a contract milker, the first two years were with our nephew and the last three have been with our son so it’s sort of a little bit of succession as well.” An important part of employing staff is understanding their goals and what motivates them, Lance and Wendy Main milk 540 cows on their self-contained 255 hectare dairy unit at Oxford, North Canterbury. The couple were instrumental in assisting Synlait to develop its Lead With Pride programme and were the first of its suppliers to be awarded the company’s Gold Elite status for their farming practices. Lance and Wendy Main P: 03 349 2411 | | | 0800 NPK NOW Email: Supply | Cartage | Spreading with Proof of Placement Congratulations to Lance & Wendy Main Proven performance from a renewable all natural slow release N.P.K Pond and Tank Liners Proud to Support Lance &Wendy Main Allan Chapman P: 03 310 2545 M: 027 221 5264 E: • Cultivation and drilling • Precision drilling • Balage rounds, squares, individual and tube • Full Fine chop silage services • Buying and selling of supplement feed • Importing of machinery Services :