Champions of the Field: The Dawson's Journey to Waikato Share Farmer of the Year

Champions of the Field: The Dawson's Journey to Waikato Share Farmer of the Year

The Waikato New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards were held at the Claudelands Event Centre in mid-March where Logan and Sian Dawson claimed the Waikato Share Farmer of the Year title.

Logan Dawson joins Dom George, expressing his elation at winning the prestigious award, and acknowledging the hard work that led to this achievement.

"We put a lot of effort in, so we were really hoping that we had a good outcome, and we did on the night, so it was great." 

Dawson provides a snapshot of their dairy operation, highlighting their role as equity partners in a share milking business and their commitment to animal welfare. 

"We're milking 1350 cows on 333 hectares, a high input feed system, where we love looking after our cows and keeping them as happy as possible so that they produce as much as possible for us." 

The conversation touches on the family's dynamic, emphasising the challenge of balancing a demanding farming career with a full family life. Logan and Sian have five children, ranging from 9 months to 12 years old.

"Every time we have another kid, I'm like there goes a few more years off my life," he jokes.

Sian's background adds an interesting dimension to their story, as she transitioned from city life to dairy farming. 

"Yeah, so she was born in London and moved to Australia when she was six... and then we, yeah, got married and here we are." 

Dawson addresses a challenging episode from his past involving animal cruelty charges that were later dropped. This experience profoundly influenced his approach to animal welfare.

"It's been a massive learning curve for us, but it's all sort of turned around into a really good thing now... We really pride ourselves on the way that we treat our animals." 

Looking ahead, he expresses optimism about the dairy industry's future, spurred by advancements in technology and a collective positive mindset.

"There's so much untapped potential in a lot of those areas that are starting to get hooked into now and it's actually a really exciting future ahead for the dairy industry, I believe."

Dawson speaks of their aspirations for farm ownership and remaining at the forefront of the industry. They anticipate participating in the national finals of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

"Yeah, I think the dinner is on the 11th, so, yeah, really looking forward to that." 

The Dawsons' story is one of resilience, innovation, and the power of a positive outlook in the face of adversity, exemplifying the spirit of New Zealand's dairy farming community.

Listen to the full chat between Logan Dawson and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Mornings live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

Visit the Rural Exchange Facebook or Instagram page for more information and regular updates from the REX team.