Dairy farmers win state awards

Leigton and Karen Hart with their children Maggie, Lucas and Lochlan.

COLAC district dairy farmers have won recognition with Victorian farming awards.

Deans Marsh’s Leighton and Karen Hart won a Great South West Dairy Award for sharefarmer of the year, while Cobden’s Aaron Masters won an employee of the year award.

Mr and Mrs Hart were in New Zealand when they received news of their win.

The award’s judges commended Mr and Mrs Hart for their “remarkable working relationship” with their farm owner.

Mr and Mrs Hart moved from New Zealand to Australia eight years ago and milk 350 cows at a Deans Marsh property.

Mr Hart said it was important for sharefarmers to work closely with farm owners.

“At the end of the day you’re both working towards a common goal, so if you’re going in different directions then it’s never going to work,” he said.

“It was great to be nominated for the award and it’s great to be recognised for your work.”

Mr Hart said share farming was one of “various farming pathways” for people interested in a farming career.

“Farm ownership is always a possibility but there’s lots of paths these days, you could go from share farming to leasing farms or equity partnerships, so there’s really a lot of choice,” he said.

Aaron Masters won the Dairy Australia employee of the year award for his work at Cobden’s Warakirri dairy farm.

Judges commended Mr Masters for reducing the stress on cows, increasing efficiency and sharing his experiences with other workers.

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