Brothers forging successful career

Brothers forging successful career
Brothers Sumit and Manoj Kumar Kamboj and Sunita Kamboj holding baby Avni Kamboj.

Sumit Kamboj and brother Manoj Kumar are building a successful farming business together in Pahiatua. The brothers, both born in India where they grew up on a 10ha farm milking 20 cows, say farming in New Zealand has been a real eye opener for them.
“There is a lot more technology and the farms are much bigger,” says Sumit. “In India people still milk cows by hand.”
Sumit arrived in New Zealand in 2011 to complete his studies in a diploma of business management in Tauranga. Manoj was already working for Andrew and Monika Arbuth nott, who own several farms in Pahiatua.
The brothers’ goal was always to work together so after finishing his studies Sumit got a job as a farm assistant with the Arbuthnotts.
In one year he was promoted to assistant herd manager then a year later to manager under Manoj who moved to a contract milking position.
Sumit has just placed third in the Dairy Industry Awards Farm Manager of the Year competition.
He says he entered as he was in an environment where other people were entering and this was encouraged by the Arbuthnotts.
“It was a good opportunity to see what people are doing and to learn from others that have been successful,” he says. He was pleasantly surprised to do so well being a first time entrant.
“I will try to do even better next time. I’m still learning a lot,” he says. Sumit is manager of a 97ha effective/110ha total unit milking a herd of 290 friesian and crossbred cows.
Manoj is a 50:50 sharemilker on the property and is also contract milking on two of the other Arbuthnotts’ farms located nearby.
Manoj’s business, Mirok Farm Limited, operates all the contracts and next year Sumit will buy shares in the company eventually aiming to increase his shareholding to 50%. Sumit says he is focusing on improving the herd that was bought for this job when Manoj took it on.
The herd had a high empty rate and lameness issues and by using an automatic gate opener so the herd can proceed at their own pace plus splitting the herd in two to avoid animals having to crowd into narrow races, lameness has dropped from 2025 to 4-5 in one season.
The empty rate has halved from 16% last season to 7% this season by placing greater emphasis on calculating feed and pasture quality with weekly farm walks and feeding cows fully.
Sumit and his brother meet with the Arbuthnotts monthly to determine feed needs so the correct amount can be ordered ahead.
Production last season was 109,000 kilograms of milk solids due to inclement weather and this season the target is 124,000 kilograms.
Sumit says he continues to learn a lot from theArbuthnotts and is grateful for their guidance and support.
He says the brothers’ goal is to continue to grow their business and will seek an additional sharemilking job or contract milking position as the next step.
Their long-term goal is to purchase a 400 cow dairy farm within the next five to ten years.
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