NZ Dairy Winter 2022

| 15 nzdairy Northland Share Farmers of the Year Antje and Soenke Paarmann. DAIRY AWARDS » Antje & Soenke Paarmann Special promise to NZ family fulfilled When Northland’s Antje and Soenke Paarmann entered the 2022 Northland Share Farmer of the Year award, they ful lled a promise made to very special people they call their New Zealand family. “We have entered the dairy awards twice previously; once as a low order sharemilker in 2010 working for Mary Craw and Bernard Hughes in Hunterville, when we got runner up, and a few years later when working as farm manager in Waikato. We weren’t placed on that occasion but we promised Mary and Bernie that we would enter again. They have been our mentors throughout our farming journey in New Zealand. This time we won.” In addition to being named Northland Share Farmer of the Year, Antje and Soenke took home merit awards for Farm Dairy Hygiene; Animal Wellbeing, Recording and Productivity; Environmental Sustainability; and Pasture Performance. As well as ful lling their promise, Antje says she and Soenke knew they would bene t from entering the industry awards. “Last year we attended a ‘Mark and Measure’ seminar run by DairyNZ and our biggest takeaway was that you have to work on your business, not just in your business. The awards gave us the opportunity and the motivation to do that, critically looking at what we were doing.” “We’re on the cross roads of, ‘do we want to go into farm ownership or stay sharemilking?’,” Soenke adds. “We did lots of scenarios and came out feeling we want to keep growing our sharemilking business for a while yet. “ Emigrating from Germany 16 years ago, Antje and Soenke are entering their sixth season 50/50 sharemilking on a 186-hectare effective property, near Kerikeri on the Okaihau Plateau. MB Rural had just bought the farm when Antje and Soenke started their sharemilking contract and over ve years the couple have had quite a bit of input into shaping and developing the property. Passionate about animals, Antje says she and Soenke are very proud of the 450-cow herd they have created from scratch. “We started buying calves, back when we worked for Mary and Bernie. To make up our rst herd we had to buy carry-over cows and some budget cows so it was a bit of a mixed bag. “We are really proud of how far we’ve come with the herd. We’re moving jobs next season and with the Awards we hope that the cows speak for themselves.” “Even if we had to sell the herd and start all over again, we know we can do it because we’ve done it before, “says Soenke. “We know what we’re doing.” While Antje and Soenke were not placed at the recently held National Awards they say they had an awesome few days meeting likeminded people passionate about farming and determined never to give up. While Soenke’s passion lies in pasture management and farm development, Antje’s love for farming is the animals. “We work together as a team and each have our strengths,” says Antje. “I feel it’s so satisfying going home at the end of the day knowing you have done the best you can to look after everyone.” Richard Loader POST PEELINGS | WOODCHIP | SAW DUST PALM KERNEL | FERTILISER DELIVERIES | SILO DELIVERIES Kaikohe 401 1536 Kerikeri 407 7354 Waipapa 401 6654 Kawakawa 404 0842 Proud to be associated with Antje and Soenke Paarmann and their achievements BAY OF ISLANDS VETERINARY SERVICES