Return to family farm rewarding

Return to family farm rewarding

Andrew Trolove swapped rugby boots for gumboots when he decided to return to the family farm last year after a stint as a club rugby player in Yorkshire, England.
Having always wanted to go dairy farming, Andrew says it was inevitable he’d end up back where he started on his parents, Mark and Vicki Trolove’s, Opunake farm.
Judging by his recent successes, it has been the right choice with Andrew having been named Farm Trainee of the Year for Taranaki and, at the recent national dairy awards event, he received a practical skills award.
Andrew grew up helping his father Mark to get the cows in, assist with milking and load bales. After leaving school, he worked as a sales representative for two years.
His other passion being rugby, the Taranaki premier club rugby player then leapt at an opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom and play for the Bridlington Rugby Union Football Club.
“I’d always wanted to go overseas and it was a bonus being able to play rugby too. In Taranaki, I’m just one of the regular players but over there I was suddenly one of their best!”
On his return to New Zealand, Andrew says his father helped ease the transition back to the family farm though the bar was set high when he was given the manager’s role, in charge of three people.
“All of them had more experience than me but we worked it out by starting with Monday morning meetings where everyone would talk about what they were doing and discuss their goals. Within three weeks, I knew exactly what was happening.”
The first year back on the farm proved challenging, with a wet spring followed by a long dry spell through to late February.
“We managed to stay twice a day throughout the season with in-shed feeding and we identified all the empties pretty quickly and got them off the farm as soon as we could.”
Andrew says there’s no real secret to the success he’s had at both the regional and national rounds of the New Zealand Dairy Industry awards.
He puts it down to common sense and supplementing what he already knew through Level 3 and 4 Primary ITO courses. One of Andrew’s regional awards was for community and industry involvement.
He has been a surf lifesaver since the age of 13 and divided his time between beach and farm in his younger years. He’s also been an active club rugby player for years.
“In fact, the rugby club I play for bought a herd of cows 10 or 15 years ago and then two years ago they bought a farm too and that farm backs onto our home farm. “My Dad chairs the rugby club farm board so I often shoot over there to help out.”
Andrew also picked up regional and national awards for practical skills and says his competence on farm is something that’s evolved over many years at his father’s side, driving tractors, diggers and gaining experience with other farm equipment.
He says entering the awards was a great way to benchmark how he was doing and really focus on his farm performance. Next year, Andrew plans to step up to contract milking on the farm.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts