From England to Aotearoa: George King's Award-Winning Dairy Management Journey

From England to Aotearoa: George King's Award-Winning Dairy Management Journey

George King, a British expatriate who was recently crowned Bay of Plenty Dairy Manager of the Year in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, discusses his transcontinental journey in dairy management. 

King, originally from the UK, took a leap to move to New Zealand, driven by a working holiday that evolved into a successful career in the dairy industry. One of the key talking points revolves around King's transition from the UK to New Zealand. 

"I came over here for a year, 2018-2019, Fell in love with the place and then decided to come back."

His initial trip, which began on a "thousand cow unit down in the bottom of the South Island," opened King's eyes to the stark contrasts between dairy farming in his home country and in New Zealand, particularly regarding the scale of operations and the opportunities for career advancement. 

King goes into detail about the differences in dairy farming between the two countries, noting that in New Zealand, "because of the system type and obviously the banks over here will also lend money against the cows," there is a more accessible pathway for someone to start a dairy business. 

He contrasts this with the UK, where "you would need a lot more capital behind you to start a dairy farming business." 

This difference, among others, led him to pursue a long-term career in New Zealand, where he also met his partner. Another significant point of discussion is King's aspirations and the role of technology in the future of dairy farming. When asked about his views on technological advancements, King shows enthusiasm, stating, "I'm all for new technologies...I definitely see technologies making the dairy operation more efficient." 

His future plans are ambitious, as he aims to transition to "50-50 share milking" and eventually seeks to either manage a larger dairy operation or find a business partner to scale up his ventures. 

Throughout the conversation, it becomes evident that King is not just committed to his career but also to integrating into the New Zealand lifestyle. 

"I'm quite heavily involved with the local young farmers club," he says, adding that he has also picked up hobbies such as fishing, underscoring his connection to the community and the natural environment of his adopted home.

The conversation sheds light on George King's journey, illustrating the opportunities and growth within the dairy industry for those who are willing to embrace change and innovation.

Listen to the full chat between George King and Dominic George above.

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