Ecklin dairy farmers Kevin and Claire Wines are this year’s Dairy Farm Business Managers of the Year.
The couple were announced the winners of the prestigious award at the 2018 Great South West Dairy Awards on Wednesday night.
The awards celebrated the achievements and commitment of those in the local dairy industry and created a positive note as farmers battle with low milk prices.
The Wines milk just over 200 cows at Ecklin. Judges said the couple had successfully moved from share farming into farm ownership without taking unnecessary risks.
The Wines have a passion for growing grass and have achieved high cow production.
Stocking rates have been set to avoid significant fodder purchases.
The couple also stood out as leaders, sharing their knowledge at discussion groups.
Judges said the couple had established a farming system that took into account the farm’s physical limitations and the skills within the business.
They had grown the business at a sustainable and comfortable rate with a view on work-life balance.
In other awards, Terry and Joanne Place of Pomborneit won the Dairy Employer award for creating an open and trusting relationship with their staff.
Dylan Light of Weerite near Camperdown won the Employee of the Year award, impressing the judges with his passion for agriculture, work ethic and his proactive approach to his day to day duties.
Clint Theodore and Brooke Lane from Alvie near Colac won the Share Farmer of the Year award after the judges scored them highly for their management of a high input farm in which they have a 50-50 share.
For the first time, the awards celebrated the service providers in the regional dairy industry. WestVic Dairy’s regional manager Lindsay Ferguson said service providers were an integral part of the dairy industry.
“We had a really good response to this award category, showing the high level of appreciation for our local service providers,” he said.
Cobden’s James Green from GreenCon won the inaugural Service Provider Award for his outstanding service to dairy farmers and his tireless dedication to the community.