Episode 18 – Outstanding in their field

In Podcasts3 MinutesMay 17, 2024

An opportunity to connect, learn and inspire, the Dairy Industry Awards took place in Queenstown last weekend, and host Sheryl Haitana takes the opportunity to talk to those leading the way in the dairy sector. 

Across the board the winners say the highlight is creating lifelong connections, and being inspired by others in the industry who take pride in their work.

Guests include:

  1. Will Hinton & Kali Rangiawha, Share Farmers of the Year
  2. Kieran McCahon, Dairy Manager of the Year
  3. Kirwyn Ellis, Dairy Trainee of the Year


  1. Sheryl Haitana, Editor, Dairy Exporter


Kali Rangiawha and Will Hinton are contract milking on a Manawatū farm, and say farming is in their blood. Kali has been dairy farming in New Zealand and Australia for more than a decade, while Will emigrated here from England, keen to continue on farming like his ancestors, after growing up in Wiltshire. 

Will puts the couple’s success onfarm down to Kali’s courage and can-do attitude, and being able to balance raising three children alongside running the dairy operation on their own. For them, the appeal of contract milking was being able to incorporate their kids into their work day – a journey Kali shares with her followers on her Instagram account. 

Northland farmer Kieran McCahon has been back on the family farm for two years now, and takes joy in having a unique beach-facing farm. He says it can be a harsh environment, but a beauty you learn to respect. He entered the Dairy Industry Awards to benchmark himself in dairy managing after spending a long time studying. He’s proudly the first person from Northland to take out the Manager trophy. 

Dairy Trainee of the Year Kirwyn Ellis is working just down the road from the fifth-generation Waikato farm he grew up on. He says he’s living the dream, by doing something he’s wanted to do all his life. The drawcard for him is working with cows, land and people. 

He was inspired to enter the awards after being encouraged to by a former winner who lives in the area. It’s a great way for the younger generation to benchmark themselves amongst their peers, get valuable feedback from the judges, and make long-lasting connections across the dairy sector.