NZ Dairy Winter 2022

24 | nzdairy Dairy newbie goes to top of the class Richard Loader DAIRY AWARDS » Mawhera Tuatahi: Lisa Peeters Trainee nalist Lisa Peeters had an amazing time with other participants on a farm study tour in Canterbury. Lisa (below) took out the 2022 West Coast/Top of the South Dairy Trainee of the Year award. Hailing from the vast landscape of the Alberta Prairies in Western Canada, Lisa Peeters has won the 2022 West Coast/Top of the South Dairy Trainee of the year, collecting DairyNZ Practical Skills and MilkBar Farming Knowledge Merit awards in the bargain. Lisa says entering the awards was an opportunity to meet new people and make new connections, as well as challenging herself to see how she benchmarked against her peers. While Lisa was not placed at the National awards, she enjoyed the opportunity to travel around other farms and see the different operational approaches. “Three years ago I wasn’t in the dairy world, and winning this award has now got me thinking in terms of my future in the industry,” says Lisa. “Do I want to go towards farm manager, contract milking, sharefarming and maybe buy my own cows one day? Three years ago I would never have thought I would be here, I was happy to see where life took me.” Three years ago Lisa, now aged 29, was in Canada working as a Vet Nurse for one of Canada’s top lameness vets for performance horses. Prior to that she worked as a vet nurse on a bull stud and prior to that on a sheep farm. “I actually grew up on a dairy farm, till my parents sold it when I was 16. In Canada, the only way you can get into dairy is through family, so I was very sad when my parents sold the family farm. Little did I know that ten years later I would be back in dairy.” Burnt out from her job as a vet nurse Lisa decided she needed a break that involved both travel and work so that she could immerse herself in the people, culture and country, rather than just be a tourist. New Zealand had always been on Lisa’s radar and so she approached Rural Exchange New Zealand, in the hope of working on a high-country sheep station. “They came back with a work offer on a dairy farm in Hokitika, and suggested I talk to the people.” The farm is Mawhera Tuatahi in the West Coast’s Arahura Valley and is operated by 50/50 sharemilkers Mark and Debbie van Beek. Lisa had a ve minute phone call with Debbie, thought she sounded lovely and decided it was only for three months after all, what can happen? “I started in the November of 2019 and I’ve never left. I just love this farm. I’ve been all over the South Island and spent ten days in the North. But I can never get back to the Coast fast enough. I love farming and I love dairy. Every day is different. And I love working with animals — they are my passion. For the majority of our 400 cows I can tell you what cow is what before I see their number.” As Herd Manager, Lisa gets to do all the grazing management and farm walks and says her past life as a vet nurse helps with animal health and welfare.” “Last year I brought my miniature American Shepherd called Xena over here, so I have to stay now.” “Three years ago I wasn’t in the dairy world, and winning this award has now got me thinking in terms of my future in the industry.” WE DO ANYTHING ELECTRICAL Domestic or Commercial, ( New Builds or Renovations ) Installation & Servicing of Heat Pumps. LED Lighting, Upgrading of Switch Boards, Heat Transfer Systems, Electrical Fault Finding, Appliance Testing & Tagging, Refrigeration, Solar Power systems, NZQA quali ed for Heat Pump installation. ELECTRICAL & HEATPUMPS LTD DELORE 53 Revell Street, Hokitika Ph: 03 755 8644 | 027 291 6699 E: SERVICING We deliver nationwide however we specialise in: • Greymouth • Westport • Hokitika • Christchurch • South Westland DISTRIBUTORS FOR Mainfreight West Coast, Aramex Couriers, Refrigerated & General Freight, Bulk & Livestock Specialists • BP Oil NZ Ltd – Bulk Fuel Delivery • BP & Castrol Lubricants Phone Greymouth: 03 769 9081 | Phone Hokitika: 05 756 8012 Phone Mainfreight West Coast: 03 769 9081 | Email: Ray Breeze A Grade Diesel Mechanic/LSHD • ON SITE WELDING • MACHINERY HIRE • PARTS & MACHINERY • NEW & USED Phone: (03) 755 7693 | Cell: 027 436 8500 | Email: 24 HOUR MECHANICAL SERVICE 105 Keogans Road, PO Box 277, Hokitika 7842