Over the weekend, Jack Symes from Canterbury/North Otago was announced as the Dairy Manager of the Year at the prestigious New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards 2023 held in Auckland. We got some time with the top man to shed light on his journey, accomplishments, and plans for the future.
A well-deserved winner, Symes mentioned that the entire week leading up to the event was filled with nervousness and anticipation. He described it as the “longest day of his life”, unsure of how the outcome would unfold. When his name was finally called out, he felt a surge of excitement and honour.
Symes received multiple accolades during the awards ceremony, including the Livestock Management Award, the Dairy Management Award, the Sustainable Pasture Award, and the Personal Planning and Financial Award.
Symes shared that he didn't expect to win so many awards and credited Scotty Stephenson, the host of the event, for making the speeches entertaining. He expressed his appreciation for the recognition and acknowledged the hard work and dedication of his team.
Symes manages his parents' farm, where he has been working for over ten years. His parents started share milking when he was born, and the dairy industry has always been a part of his life.
Symes “always knew he wanted to get into farming”, and after exploring different industries during his studies, he realized that dairy farming aligned with his goals and ambitions.
Listen to the full interview below, where Symes also touches on the family farm’s reputation for its cleanliness and high-quality milk production, his involvement in the local rugby club, and his future plans.