Chris Neill

It’s a proud moment for Northland to have consecutive winners of the New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year Award.

When Colin and Isabella Beazley met the other 2019 regional finalists in Wellington they were greatly impressed and hoped one of the minor prizes might be theirs. Now holders of the national title passed on from Dan and Gina Duncan, they have celebrated with previous winners and commenced their 12 months as dairy industry ambassadors.

A key part of their success is the trust Colin and Isabella have in each other which allows them to find their balance for expansive dreams with realism, and risk aversion with enthusiasm to “have a go”.

The New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year Award is a symbol of credibility for the holders. Colin and Isabella recognise this 12-month window is their chance to make a difference for young farmers, particularly in lower Northland which they proudly call home.

They see the increasing age of farm owners creating a multi-generational gap between them and the young people needed to keep the nation’s dairy farms functioning.

Colin and Isabella’s story of setting and achieving goals that are connected to personal values is inspirational for those seeking guidance on how to make their own way to a successful dairy business.

Since winning the award, Isabella was inspired to create a pictorial 10-year vision which she and Colin have embraced. The key elements are farm ownership in Northland with a diversity of land use, where they will raise a family and create a physical and knowledge legacy for future generations. Along with this Isabella wants to start her own off-farm business, applying her passion for growing and creating food.

This couple take their business seriously and expect to “keep up” rather than “catch up” with changes that may enhance or threaten their business. A key element is growing and engaging with existing and new networks which will introduce opportunities to; share knowledge, support and encourage themselves and others to grow in confidence, and work collaboratively.

For Colin and Isabella this translates to diversifying their business and spending more time working on their business rather than in it. This in turn will create opportunities for their farm team to develop skills and confidence to progress. They see great potential in the people and land of lower Northland for dairy farming business.

Customer-responsive farming is the future Colin and Isabella are planning their business for. Responsibility for people working in their business, environmental stewardship, animal wellbeing are expectations they feel obliged to address to attain and maintain discerning, high-value customers for NZ dairy products. They expect this future will engage new technology and apply some of our current methodology in different ways.

Colin and Isabella will ensure their business is meeting expectations and will be encouraging others, particularly the new generation of farmers to follow their lead. In their view, “helping others is the right thing to do”.

Colin anticipates their newly won title will create connections and invitations through doors that open to those with credibility.

With these connections they want to broaden and deepen their farming and business knowledge, then apply their

own thoughts and imagination to be innovative leaders for the next generation of farmers.

It’s plain to see the commitment Colin and Isabella have to each other, their family, their community and the future of the New Zealand dairy industry.

With their passion for supporting and encouraging others, Colin and Isabella Beazley will be awesome industry advocates.