Home' Central Canterbury News : April 24th 2013 Contents 5
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Top award rewards inspiring couple
FROM Page 4
Happy now: Richard and Emma McIntyre with their children Olivia, 6, and Matthew, 4.
In his element: Four year
old Matthew McIntyre,
son of winners Richard
and Emma McIntyre,
loves playing in a fresh
pile of palm kernel
extract -- dairy food
In between secondary school and
university he worked on a dairy
farm for a year.
He then studied arts and
business, but pulled out after a
I missed that tangible sense of
achievement I had experienced on
the farm.You get to know the cows
and they get to know you. And at
calving, that feeling of doing
something worthwhile -- that calf
needed me and I helped.
I felt I was contributing to the
world, to society. I had no sense of
that at university.''
He found a job as assistant herd
manager for Lindsay and Marion
Ashley, near Palmerston North,
and stayed for five years, moving
up to herd manager.
The Ashleys were a major
influence'' on his life. They kept
giving me more and more
responsibility until I was in
charge of all the day-to-day
running and animal health.''
Lindsay taught him good
animal husbandry. Though he
had 700 cows, he treated each one
individually. They weren't just
grass harvesters, their comfort
Midway through his five years
there he married Emma. She is a
townie'' from Hastings and,
though her name was mistakenly
left off the awards entry, Richard
says she is crucial to his success.
I wouldn't be here without her
support, it's as simple as that.''
After a year on a farm near
Marton, which he admits didn't go
well, he landed the job of farm
manager on a new dairy
conversion at Halcombe, for
Richard and Sally Hogg.
Five years on, they are still
there. They are lower-order
sharemilkers, receiving 29 per
cent of the milk payout. They also
share the costs of imported feed
and rear all the calves.
Last year's milksolids
production on the winter-milking
farm was 206,000 kilograms,
which averages at 470kg a cow
across the 430-cow herd. In this
year's drought, 195,000kg is
Richard puts the high
production figure down to
nutritionally balanced feeding.
Grass is topped up with maize and
grass silage, palm kernel expeller
and small amounts of cotton seed
meal, soya bean meal and crushed
biscuits as needed.
Protein from the grass is high in
spring but the cows needs extra
protein at other times. He keeps
an eye on the fresh cowpats to tell
when to order extra feed -- if they
are glossy the protein is adequate,
if matt there's a shortage.
An indication of how successful
he is can be seen in the farm's
Extra protein is excreted as
nitrogen on to the paddocks, and
leaching is down to 20kg a hectare
a year, though having a feed pad
Under the regional One Plan
the allowance for the farm is 26kg,
reducing to 20kg by 2033.
The couple work hard on staff
training and welfare and are
proud of the progress made by
their two young staff, Jake Short
and Leroy Wellington.
Anyone can excel in a job if you
create the right environment for
them,'' Emma says. It involves
getting to know them, their goals,
what motivates them and how you
can tailor the role.''
Simplicity is best, Richard says.
He has designed graphic training
procedures that double as memory
aids to remind Jake and Leroy
about the shed washdown and
animal health and welfare, such
as calving cows and preventing
and treating mastitis.
They are both exceptional
young guys,'' he says.
The couple work closely with
farm owners the Hoggs and share
I know what they want and
they know what we want.''
They want to be 50 per cent
sharemilking or in an equity
partnership within two years. It
will be a further step on a road
they see ending in farm
Winning the contest will boost
Richard's career, but the couple
are determined it won't change
their work-life balance.
Four years on from his struggle
for life Matthew is a healthy,
He's a real little farmer,'' his
proud father says. And it's the
coolest thing -- he wants to be like
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