Trio of awards for Dairy Industry Share Farmers of the Year

The theme of the farming community supporting each other was one echoed by many of the finalists at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Award in Auckland on Saturday, May 13. By Claire Ashton.

2023 NZDIA National Winners L-R NZ Dairy Trainee of the Year Bill Hamilton, NZ Sharefarmers of the Year Hayden & Bridget Goble, NZ Dairy Manager of the Year Jack Symes.j

Dancing with the Stars was the theme for the national Dairy Industry Awards held on Saturday, May 13, at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland. 

The stars of the night were of course everyone who had entered and participated in the awards, not forgetting the judges who travelled the length and breadth of the country during judging rounds, and of course the sponsors.

The theme of the farming community supporting each other was one echoed by many of the finalists in their speeches.

The national winners of the Share Farmer of the Year award were Hayden and Bridget Goble, from Tataraimaka, north Taranaki, who took home just under $70,000 in prizes. The Gobles who have been described as a power couple demonstrated strengths in all areas of farming and also won three merit awards. 

Giving them a good run for their money was Aleisha Broomfield, regional finalist from the Waikato, who with four merit awards, was the clear choice for runner up.

“This whole thing has just been exceptional,” Bridget said after the awards ceremony. “It’s been an amazing week and even before we came to the event tonight, the experiences during the whole process made us feel like we had won.”

Bridget said the whole experience has been positive. Bridget is a doctor and has a very busy life, and the industrious couple have achieved a lot together through their complementary skills. 

“We put a lot of work into it – and it’s great that the hard work has paid off,” Hayden said. Being among the other contestants and the networking and rubbing shoulders was a real highlight.

It was noted that Hayden’s parents, Kevin and Diane Goble, were the inaugural winners in 1990 of what was then known as New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year.

Canterbury/North Otago’s Jack Symes was awarded the Dairy Manager of the Year. Jack entered the awards with a specific purpose:

“I wanted to enter to show my passion for the industry to others, to showcase how I run my operations to the judges and for future employment opportunities – and I saw it as a good way to challenge myself on my strengths and weaknesses.”

Jack, a first-time entrant in the Dairy Industry Awards won four merit awards and $24,000 in prizes. 

“I wasn’t expecting to be up on stage that many times,” he said of his numerous award wins. The financial assessments of his farming practice were critical and a key point. 

Bill Hamilton from Northland was announced the 2023 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.

He won more than $13,000 in prizes and two merit awards. Highlight of the whole process had been the networking.

“It may sound cliched, but it really has been a great opportunity to learn on a personal and professional level,” Bill said.  “The calibre of people and conversations all in one place; from the trainees to the managers and share farmers was just amazing.”

Cameron Henderson from Oxford in Canterbury/North Otago was named the Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award winner and received the John Wilson Memorial Trophy.

Tim Mackle, outgoing DairyNZ chief executive, was awarded the Services to the Dairy Industry Award, in recognition of his contribution to and advocacy for the New Zealand dairy industry over many years. 

Major winners, placegetters and merit award winners

2023 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year:

  • Winner Hayden & Bridget Goble, Taranaki
  • Runner-Up   Aleisha Broomfield, Waikato
  • Third Jonathon & Stacey Hoets, Canterbury/North Otago

Merit Awards 

DairyNZ People & Culture Award Aleisha Broomfield

Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award Hayden & Bridget Goble

Federated Farmers Leadership Award Aleisha Broomfield

Honda Farm Safety, Health & Biosecurity Award Jonathon & Stacey Hoets

LIC Animal Wellbeing, Recording and Productivity Award Hayden McDonald

Meridian Environmental Sustainability Award Aleisha Broomfield

Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award Hayden & Bridget Goble

Trelleborg Business Performance Award Aleisha Broomfield

Ecolab Interview Award Hayden & Bridget Goble


2023 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year:

  • Winner Jack Symes, Canterbury/North Otago
  • Runner-up José Hamber, Manawatū
  • Third Finja Philips, Auckland/Hauraki

Merit Awards 

DairyNZ People & Leadership Award José Hamber

DeLaval Livestock Management Award Jack Symes

Fonterra Dairy Management Award Jack Symes

LIC Interview Award Chihiro Hanyuda

Meridian Environmental Sustainability Award Nicole Barber

Ravensdown Sustainable Pasture Award Jack Symes

NZDIA Personal Planning and Financial Management Award Jack Symes


 2023 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year:

  • Winner Bill Hamilton, Northland
  • Runner-up Brayden Johnston, Canterbury/North Otago
  • Third Sarah Powell, Manawatū