Loving farm life in Central Plateau

2021 Central-Plateau winners from left, DTOTY Tayla Flight, SFOTY Andrea and  Blair Muggeridge and DMOTY Mark Rivers.

A couple who are passionate about their cows and achieving their goals have won the 2021 Central Plateau Share Farmer of the Year title.

Andrea and Blair Muggeridge are equity partners on a 285ha Reporoa property, called Golden Springs, milking 1080 cows.

Both Blair and Andrea grew up on dairy farms.

“We wanted the same life for our kids as we had,” says Andrea. “We love the freedom farming brings, the animals, the building of relationships with our team and the overall running of a business.”

Farm for Family

The couple wish they could change public perception of farmers, especially around the subject of polluting waterways.

The couple have faced challenges along the way including reconfiguring Golden Springs farm in their first year and learning how to build a team that follows the same culture.

The Muggeridges are proud of achieving equity partnership and their successful business with excellent overall production, and  are excited about the future of the dairy industry.

“We would like our farm to be a multi-generation business which will enable us to support our children in their future business endeavours.”

Trainee with a vision

The 2021 Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year, Tayla Flight, is a second-time entrant who manages a farm in Atiamuri.

“I’ve always wanted a job where I’m happy. I love animals and get to hang out with 220 cows and my dog every single day. If they’re happy, I’m happy,” says Tayla.

“I excelled academically at school and was always expected to go to university. I didn’t always know I wanted to be a dairy farmer, but I love that you are rewarded depending on how hard you work and you can progress at the pace you’re willing or feel comfortable to.

“You don’t have to study for years to prove yourself. You prove yourself when the cows come into the shed happy and healthy and milk is going into the vat.”

The number of women taking leading roles in the dairy industry makes Tayla feel excited about  the future of the New Zealand  dairy industry.

“Ash-Leigh Campbell and Tracey Brown are not only inspiring women in dairy, but also so forward-thinking environmentally. Fitting in with women like this would be an honour.

“I’d like to change the mindset of some farmers who look at a dairy farming couple and assume the woman is the calf rearer and ‘looks after the books’.  

“This can be quite frustrating.”

Next season, Tayla will move to a 450-cow managers position which will become a contract milking role the following season, if all goes to plan.

Tayla says she has always been a goal setter and sets small goals for herself constantly, knowing that this will help her achieve bigger ambitions.

“Every time I achieve a goal it gets me closer to where I want to be.

“That’s what drives me every day.”


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