2022 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award Winners Lead Change Through Innovation

Craigmore Farming Services, Canterbury/North Otago, was named the winner of the 2022 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on Saturday evening and received the John Wilson Memorial Trophy.

The prestigious award was introduced by the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards and Fonterra to recognize dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainability and who are respected by their fellow farmers and community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairy production.

“It was a privilege to engage with the three finalists and the quality of the presentations was exceptional,” said Chief Judge Conall Buchanan.

Judge Charlotte Rutherford of Fonterra agrees. “The future of the industry is in such good hands when you can hang out with people like our finalists.”

“It’s encouraging and motivating and you wish you could send them all over the country to talk to all the farmers because we left the room energized by what they had to say.”

While all of the finalists were impressive, the winning entry represented by Stuart Taylor, GM Farming and Caroline Amyes, Agri Relationship Partner, stood out due to Craigmore’s focus on adapting individual farming systems to the land, resources and people involved.

“It’s a strength that our industry will use more and more in the years to come,” the judges said.

One of Craigmore’s philosophies is that there is no single perfect system. “Craigmore starts with the people who are going to be on the land and their motivations and goals for the land and the animals.

“People influence the system adopted by the farms because the passion and drive were tied to the people who ran the farms,” Judge Melissa Slattery said.

The judges were impressed with Craigmore’s philosophy of adapting the farming system on each of their 22 farms to suit the environment and the people.

The judges say Craigmore is demonstrating and implementing new technology that has been proven to work in a way that is feasible and realistic for other farmers.

“Craigmore is leading the change and using different innovations on different farms to help create solutions that other farmers could then use, including dung beetles, working on their important natural areas, a composting barn, boluses and testing Halter on one of their farms” say the judges.

“Like all farmers, Craigmore is on a journey and is continually looking for ways to grow and challenge themselves.”

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