NZ Dairy Winter 2022

28 | nzdairy DAIRY AWARDS » Satveer Singh Award success helps career pathway Karen Phelps Satveer Singh’s success at the 2022 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has helped him secure his next step on the dairy ladder: a farm manager position on a 620 cow farm in Cambridge that will lead to a contract milking position. “Before the awards I got a few interviews for positions but after the awards I got like 20,” he says. “The awards really helped.” Satveer Singh’s ambition, dedication and skill impressed the judges. He won the Dairy Manager of the Year for the Central Plateau along with three merit awards: Delaval Livestock Management, Fonterra Dairy Management and NZ Farmers Livestock Ltd Pasture and Feed Management. The 255ha effective system four farm Satveer was working on for the past four seasons at Tokoroa milked 700 cows. Cows are milked year round and wintered on farm. Kale, swedes and fodder beet are grown for supplement and the farm buys in 800-900 tonnes of in shed meal each year. One big achievement in his time there was radically reducing the average somatic cell count by 25% this season by making a number of small changes, which combined had a big impact. He wrote up a comprehensive animal health plan to encourage excellent hygiene in the dairy Satveer’s attention to detail, ambition, dedication and skill impressed judges at the NZ Dairy Industry Awards. He won the Dairy Manager of the Year for the Central Plateau along with three merit awards: shed. It’s indicative of the detailed approach Satveer takes to farming. He admits he spends a lot of spare time researching and writing up notes. He is secure that when he moves on to his farm manager position on the Cambridge unit his successor on the Tokoroa farm will be able to continue to bene t from this knowledge. Some information will also be transferrable and Satveer is looking forward to taking a similarly detailed approach to his next position and obtaining great results for that farm owner. Another good example is Satveer’s approach to pasture and feed management. He has been plate walking every ten days, looking at the soil and keeping notes. He does the same with his cows so he knows them all well. He managed to reduce use of CIDRs from 30% to 12% with the empty rate only going up 2% as a result and this is expected to fall more in line with the farm average over time. His detailed approach will be of real value on the Cambridge farm as it is system two, so relies more heavily on good pasture. He is careful about where, when and how he uses fertiliser to get a good response rate, reduce environmental impact and to obtain most value. Satveer recognises that farming can take its toll mentally. “I see a lot of farming people struggling with mental health. It’s important to get off the farm for a break and do something you love.” For Satveer that includes motorbike riding and running. It’s a way for him to take a mental break and recharge. One of his goals is to buy himself a Harley Iron 833 or Sportster. Satveer’s ultimate goal is farm ownership and, of course, he already has a detailed plan of how he’ll get there. “This is not just a job for me – it’s a responsibility and there is a lot involved in running someone’s multi-million dollar business. If you have a good mindset and work hard it will pay off.” • Dairy Maintenance • Ice Banks • Effluent Systems • Tip Truck & Excavator Work • Water Reticulation • New Dairy Installations • Electrical & Refrigeration • Milking Machine Testing Proud to be supporting Manna Farm Ltd 57 Ashworth Street, Tokoroa | 0800 TO MILK (86 6455) | WestfaliaSurge | Houle PHONE. 07 885 1022 EMAIL. WEBSITE. Your business. Is our business. Proud to be associated with Satveer and Manna Farm LP. Helping to grow rural business throughout New Zealand.