Alan da Veiga's Journey From South American Sniper To Celebrated Kiwi Dairy Farmer

Alan da Veiga's Journey From South American Sniper To Celebrated Kiwi Dairy Farmer

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards continue to roll out and Alan de Veiga was the recent recipient of the Canterbury/North Otago Share Farmer of the Year award last month.

Da Veiga's life story is a testament to the power of perseverance and adaptability. He vividly recounts his transition from the disciplined life of military precision to the nurturing care required in the dairy industry.

When asked about his decision to enter the awards, da Veiga explains that it's something he had been thinking about for a little while.

"I always thought [of] doing that, but when I actually decided was [the] end of last year." 

Managing an impressive herd of 1,000 cows on 260 hectares, da Veiga's dedication to dairy farming is evident. He shares his origins, revealing his move to New Zealand in 2012, spurred by his time in Australia and the desire for a new beginning. 

"I applied [for] a few visas and [in] New Zealand I got approved for a visa." 

A significant challenge for da Veiga has been overcoming the language barrier without formal English training.

"So everything that I learned was by myself and at work or using the Google Translator." 

Reflecting on his past military life, da Veiga briefly touches on his role as a sniper in the Brazilian Army, where he spent significant time in the forest and on the border between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. His present focus, however, is solely on his passion for dairy farming. 

When asked about hunting in New Zealand, considering his sniper skills, da Veiga responds with a dedication to his current profession.

"I was just focused on dairy farming and then I yeah, so I don't even go on [many] holidays, man." 

Looking to the future, he sets ambitious goals for himself, aspiring to enter into a 50-50 share milking agreement by 2028-2029 and to own his farm by 2035. 

Da Veiga's narrative is not just a success story within the dairy industry but also an inspiring example of how diverse backgrounds enrich New Zealand's agricultural landscape.

He serves as a beacon of inspiration, illustrating that with passion and resilience, one can achieve excellence across vastly different fields.

Listen to the full chat between Alan da Veiga and Dominic George above.

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