NZ Dairy Winter 2022

26 | nzdairy DAIRY AWARDS » Robyn Mare Career switch right move for ‘quiet achiever’ Robyn Mare was named runner-up in the 2022 Dairy Manager of the Year category in only her rst season as a dairy manager. Kim Newth In only her rst season as a dairy manager, Robyn Mare has been named runner-up for the 2022 Dairy Manager of the Year after having earlier won the top regional prize in that category at this year’s Dairy Industry Awards. The judges described her as a quiet achiever, with an outstanding broad knowledge both inside and outside the farm gate. At the gala awards event, she also received awards in pasture and feed management, and personal planning and nancial management. In March she won the title of 2022 West Coast/ Top of the South Dairy Manager of the Year and picked up two merit awards in personal planning and nancial management, and pasture and feed management. Having started out as a property valuer, Robyn says she has never looked back since switching to dairy farming and recommends it as a career for others. “There are great opportunities in the dairy industry. You can walk into a good paying job and a house. You can go home for breakfast and for lunch. You can work around school activities if you need to and the farm environment is a great place for bringing up kids.” She and husband Vince have two teenaged children – Troy, 16 and Regan, 14 – with Troy now planning to work alongside his mother next season. “We’re going back to the North Island so I can take up a contract milking position. It is going to be another big learning curve but I feel like I’m ready. It has taken awhile for me to get the con dence for that next step. I put the kids rst but now they’re both old enough for this move and, in fact, Troy is going to work for me through calving at this next property in the Waikato.” From a horticultural family in Palmerston North, Robyn completed a degree in rural valuation and farm management at Massey University after leaving school and then worked for four years as a property valuer for QV Valuations. Her rst experience of milking was as a university student, ‘taking cups off’ in a rotary shed on a Hawke’s Bay dairy farm for a summer holiday assignment. Later, while living in rural Pohangina, a friend asked if she would be interested in relief milking. “Once I went relief milking, that was it. I absolutely loved it. I loved being in the outdoors, in the elements, and I love cows too! I went from relief milking to part-time to full-time farm assistant.” In 2017, she followed Vince to the West Coast where he’d got a job culling goats for the Department of Conservation. Robyn then took up a 2IC position with Rob and Michelle Little on their 155 hectare, 310-cow Greymouth farm. Her success at this year’s Dairy Industry Awards follows earlier recognition of her work as 2IC, having picked up a regional award for ‘most promising entrant’. With Rob and Michelle’s encouragement, she continued to progress with this being her rst year as their farm manager. “Rob wanted to step away from the day-to-day management side but has still been available as a relief milker and does a lot of other work around the farm. He’s been very supportive, as has Michelle, who is a trained veterinarian. They have both taught me so much.” Coupled with on-the-job learning, Robyn has completed Primary ITO Level 4 and 5 courses and has also made the most of growth in online training over the past few years. “There are great opportunities in the dairy industry. You can walk into a good paying job and a house. You can work around school activities if you need to and the farm environment is a great place for bringing up kids.” SERVICING We deliver nationwide however we specialise in: • Greymouth • Westport • Hokitika • Christchurch • South Westland Mainfreight West Coast, Aramex Couriers, Refrigerated & General Freight, Bulk & Livestock Specialists DISTRIBUTORS FOR • 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: 95 Ahaura/Kopara Road, Ahaura, West Coast · +64 3 732 3668 · Hunting & Fishing Agricultural Services General Aerial Services Ahaura Helicopters Ltd was established by owner/operators Simon and Debbie Lawn in 1994 and have provided professional helicopter services to the West Coast and throughout the South Island since. For a list of our services please visit our website at For all your agricultural contracting Call us on 027 441 1533 Email: GH FOSTER CONTRACTING FOSTERS DIG IT, DOZE IT, TRUCK IT! PROUD TO SUPPORT ROB LITTLE & ROBYN MARE