Wednesday, 2 March 2011

What is a GB Olympic Oarsman doing Sharemilking in New Zealand?

Richard & Louise Hamilton are highly successful sharemilkers in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. However Richard was in the 1996 Great Britain Rowing team at the Atlanta Olympics.
This 6.5ft giant of a man was in the GB Rowing Men's Eight. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ha/richard-hamilton-2.html
So why is this English Olympian milking cows in New Zealand?...did he ever imagine he would be milking cows in NZ?....after the Beijing Olympics Richard & Louise moved out to NZ. Initially he was a rowing coach at nearby Tauranga but discovered an opportunity to go dairying in the Bay of Plenty.
Richard & Louise make a great team as they have both strived to succeed.
Sharemilking in the NZ dairy industry provides opportunities for young people to establish their own businesses & to gain equity. Opportunities abound for the adventurous & those with determination.

Richard & Louise have two sharemilking jobs at Pongakawa, one 50:50 & a second job which is a "Lower order Sharemilking" job. (both for the same land owner & across the road from each other....just perfect!)
Here he explains to our group the financial returns from both types of sharemilking contracts he & Louise have at Pongakawa. The Lower Order sharemilking jobs do not involve much investment or capital costs by the sharemilkers but do provide an opportunity to get a foot into the industry & an opportunity to save cash from earnings. The herd must be purchased to be a 50:50 sharemilker....the income & cost sharing reflect the different share %.
The next step for Richard & Louise maybe an equity partnership.

Colin & Hazel Grainger-Allen moved to NZ from the SW of England (once members of both Ankle deep & GrassRoots DGs). They are also making tremendous progress up the equity ladder as 50:50 sharemilkers in the Rotorua area....Waikiti Valley. Today they are members of the "Green to Gold" dairy discussion group. Thornbury Farms now milks 500 XBred cows on 160ha thru a 44 aside Herringbone parlour. Colin & Hazel are paying off debt as fast as they can but continuing to build cow numbers to build equity & savings."Our goal is farm ownership & we want our money to work for us NOT us work for money"
This farming district can be very tough, its not the easiest dairy country....it was very dry when we visited..... some of the land is steep....very steep by UK standards. Colin & Hazel use this block for summer milking heifers on OAD milking & then outwinter the herd on direct drilled forage crops. Fertilizer is flown on from the farm's airstrip high up at the back of the farm.
The NZ sharemilking system allows young people to enter the dairy industry sometimes with very little experience but to then progress by gaining equity. This is hard work but also requires intensive management of the farm business cashflow.

The world is a very unstable place right now.....care needs to be taken to closely manage cashflows. Sure milk prices are lifting but costs are going up even faster. In some countries there is a credit crisis that will "crash & burn dairy farmers" who dont control cashflows. Everyone needs to be very aware of the global credit risks.
Those NZ sharemilkers/farmers who can demonstrate cashflow control & savings will progress rapidly despite the global risks.
The saying goes that "If you want to fly with the Eagles then don't mess around with the Turkeys". It's important to seek out the "Eagles" & look at how they farm so successfully.
The "DAIRY OLYMPIANS" soon identify themselves as champions.

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