Environment needs to be preserved

Environment needs to be preserved

2018 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year Sam White has just returned from an overseas trip where he learned valuable lessons about the environment and its effect on farming.
Twenty two year old Sam spent six weeks volunteering at the Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa where his role included putting GPS collars on a lion and an elephant and monitoring camera traps around the reserve.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa and volunteering was a cool way of having a holiday as well as helping with conservation. It really showed me the importance of preserving our natural environment,” he says.
It was this passion for the environment that was one of the factors that he thinks made him stand out at this year’s New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.
Sam believes that it is possible to have successful farms as well as caring for our planet and aims to get himself into a position where he can have an infl uence on farm practices.
He’s already done this by initiating a riparian planting programme on the farm where he is employed as a farm assistant at Colyton, Feilding. The 150ha effective unit owned by Colin and Bruce MacMillan will this year milk 400 cows.
Recently 2000 trees were planted in wet areas and creeks. The environmental aspects of farming are something Sam acknowledges the industry needs to improve on and this is his true passion.
Sam grew up in Palmerston North and, although he had taken agricultural courses at school, only really became involved in farming by filling in for his sister who had a weekend milking job on Colin’s farm.
This lead to Sam being offered a full time position and he is now nearing the completion of three years on the farm. “I always liked the idea of farming but I just didn’t know how to get my foot in the door. When I did I realized I loved it,” he says.
He first entered the New Zealand Dairy Industry awards when he had only been on the farm for six months and received the most promising entrant award. He says this gave him the encouragement to know he could make a go of a dairy career.
This year he also took out three merit awards: Levno Farming Knowledge Award, Cervus Equipment Feilding Communication and Engagement Award and the Community and Industry Involvement Award.
Through entering the Dairy Industry Awards in previous years, Sam says he’s met a lot of like-minded people and was introduced to the Fitzherbert Young Farmers club of which he is an active member.
He says winning the title this year has opened up opportunities as people now know who he is which should hopefully make the next step in his dairy career that little bit easier.
He plans to continue his learning and is presently working towards a Primary ITO level 3 dairy feeding and pasture course.
He acknowledges the assistance and opportunities Colin, Bruce and Colin’s son Scott, who manages the unit Sam is employed on, have given him.
“They’ve really taught me a lot and are open to trying new ideas that I might come up with after being on courses. It’s about continually improving.”
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts