Originating from Northland, Donald is a fourth generation dairy farmer who has been farming in Southland with his wife and three children, since 2004. He has successfully progressed through the industry from management and 50-50 sharemilking to his current equity partnership on a 600 cow farm that he also lower-order sharemilks on.
Donald holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management from Lincoln University, majoring in Agricultural Economics. He won merit awards for his strong pasture management and financial skills and took out the overall title at the Southland Sharemilker of the Year competition in 2007, as well as the National Business Performance Merit Award at the NZ Dairy Industry Awards.
Donald has a real passion for the dairy industry and the opportunities and progression it offers to everyone both financially and personally. He has held the position of Federated Farmers Sharemilker Chairperson in Southland for two years and convened the Dairy Industry Awards in Southland.
Donald’s strengths lie in his experience of running a successful dairy farming business. He has a strong focus on farming for profit and has achieved this by:
1. Ensuring that the farming basics are well-covered (pasture management; animal health; staffing systems; environmental responsibilities and financial management);
2. Clarifying what the farm’s goals and challenges are;
3. Developing strategies to achieve the goals and overcome the challenges; and
4. Monitoring and supervising actions to deliver the best results.
Donald joined AgFirst in June 2014, with a focus on using his strengths to support dairy farmers to get the best results from their farming businesses. During that time he has worked on the DairyNZ Swede Survey; AgFirst Roster Study and Labour Productivity Project; feasibility studies for Equity Partnership proposals and farm supervision.