Strong people focus at Pamu farm
Pamu’s Egmont Dairy Unit at Moutoa, Manuwatu is part of a push to model an environment that will attract and retain workers with a desire to be rising stars in the industry.
Farm manager Mitch Furlani says the opportunity to advance within the organisation and the convenience of living close to main centres were attractive to him when he applied for his present position in February 2017. “Our five and two roster is particularly attractive to job applicants,” Mitch says.
“I think it’s becoming more of an expectation of the generation that we typically employ these days; People want a better work-life balance.”
A worker he knew from his previous management position is a good example of someone who quickly advanced within Pamu, he says.
“I was under pressure to find full-time staff so I approached Josh Millard who used to work with me in Apiti as a 2IC and asked him to come on board. He spent 10 months with me and then secured a farm manager role at Tongariro Dairy unit next door.”
The Egmont Dairy Unit employs four full-time staff, plus a casual worker.
Karen McCrae, who has only been working in the industry full-time for two years this season, entered in the Dairy Industry Awards Manawatu regional competition.
She received some great feedback from judges who said she had a good, in-depth understanding of some of the qualities of leadership and were also impressed she acknowledged the people who had supported and helped her.
“I though that was a pretty good result.” Mitch’s second-in-charge, Joel Peterson, has also had the opportunity to progress within the business and is now a key decision maker on farm.
Egmont is one of seven conjoined Pamu dairy farms in the area. It peak milks 620 Kiwicross cows through a 50 bail rotary shed with Milkhub.
While there is a strong people focus within Pamu, operating profit is still a high priority, but as on any dairy farm there are plenty of challenges Mitch’s first season at Egmont was a perfect storm of a prolonged wet spring followed by a quick summer dry which led to some pretty tough management decisions, including shipping a number of in milk cows off farm to Taupo which led to a disappointing average of 340kgMS per cow Cost of production this season is $5.20; Mitch is aware this is high and is working on a strategy that will be less reliant on bought-in feed Improving the herd’s fertility has been a key focus since Mitch has been at Egmont.
Despite the climatic conditions of his first season, the mating result was “fantastic”, mostly due to the implementation of the Why-Wait mating system. “It’s basically synchronising your animals to come in and cycle in their first six weeks of mating.”
The result for the 2017/18 season was a six week in calf rate of 79% and an empty rate of 7%, compared to the previous year’s empty rate of 73% and 12% respectively.
Current production this season is looking to end at 233,000kgMS due to current feed reserves and an extended dry period, with an original target of 245,000kgMS.
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