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Right attitude, hard graft behind win

Kim Stewart Oct 10
Right attitude, hard graft behind win
Auckland Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year Kyle Brennan with and partner Katy.

Taking out the 2019 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year award was like the icing on the cake for 25-year-old Kyle Brennan who along with partner Katy are busy getting on with the goal of growing their farming business Kopuera Dairies Ltd.

It wasn’t the first time Kyle had entered the awards.

“I first entered in the Dairy Trainee section in the 2015/16 season and decided to give the Dairy Manager of the Year competition a go this year to build on that first experience. It’s a great challenge and thoroughly worth the effort,” says Kyle.

Following his first foray in the competition Kyle decided to go further with his PrimaryITO studies and he took that learning, along with his subsequent years working as a manager into this year’s competition.

And for his efforts he won $7,825 in prizes and four merit awards; the Primary ITO Power Play, Franklin Vets Feed Management, DeLaval Livestock Management and Fonterra Dairy Management Awards.

He began working on the 316 ha 1000 cow farm, owned by Balle Bro’s as a farm assistant in 2014 and he puts his successful path in his farming career down to having the right attitude and lots of hard work.

Kyle says his passion in farming extends in two directions; his animals and the team he employs.

Katy also started as an assistant and is now 2IC on another unit, owned by Balle Bro’s.

She shares the same commitment and energy as Kyle toward progressing in the industry.

The couple have the goal of achieving 50:50 sharemilking status in 3 ½ years ideally on their own farm.

Both thrive on the ever-changing nature of dairy farming.

“I have been on this unit now five years and every year has been different. You never get complacent,” says Kyle.

The farm he manages has, at its peak, milked upward of 1500 cows through a 60 bale rotary and in the past two years the units owners have added to more milking sheds.

Today Kyle’s farm has 1000 kiwi-cross cows and the plan is to breed in more Friesian which he believes will better suit the conditions underfoot.

The farm is 70% fl at with the balance rolling, predominantly peat with a small area of clay.

A feed-pad was put down eight years ago capable of standing off 450 cows.

“We have just had an exit lane from the shed concreted which will make things much better and it is going to help reduce the somatic cell count which has been an issue,” says Kyle.

This season is going very well with an average increase of 70kg/MS per cow up from last season.

Kyle attributes this gain to improved animal health and more focus on the feed to improve protein levels.

When asked if he feels there’s further room for milk productivity Kyle says his focus is on farming consistency throughout all the management systems.

“If we’re being consistent then things fall into place. Our goals for next season is 500kg MS/cow and I feel that is achievable.”

Kyle describes his team of four farm workers as top quality.

2IC Dan is a Kiwi while Marty, Manni and Fred hail from Chile, India and the Philippines respectively

.Kyle went on to take out a merit award – Feed Management – at the national dairy awards in May.

Katy was absent from the Wellington ceremony as she flew out to a long-awaited month holiday in Europe two days before the national event.

“We had planned this some time ago, so I’ll fly out first and then Kyle will join me,” Katy explains.

Changes are ahead for Katy as well as she returns to a new job as Auckland/Hauraki regional manager.

“An amazing opening for her through the Dairy Industry Awards,” says Kyle.

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