Farmer looks to the future

Embracing high-end tech on farms

Today’s young farmers, like Sam, are at the cutting edge of technology in the dairy sector.

“There is heaps of cool stuff happening and we just need more people to get involved to develop this technology and roll it out on farms because it is really going to help in the future”

Sam Moscrip wanted to be a dairy farmer for as long as he can remember. “As a kid you have got a 500-acre playground really,” he says.

“It’s being outside in open spaces, watching the land change through the seasons from calving to summertime to crops getting harvested. Growing up on the farm you learn good work ethics.”

Last year Sam was named Northland Dairy Manager of the Year. The 22-year-old is the herd manager on his parents’ 160-hectare dairy farm at Hukerenui, where the close-knit community means there is no shortage of advice when needed.

“It is the same across the country where you form close connections with your fellow farmers but also those within the community who are not farmers.

“It is about appreciating those who helped me get to where I am and giving back to them now.”

Sam went to Kamo High School before completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University. In his final year he was awarded a DairyNZ scholarship.

“The tangible benefit was the money to help keep my student loan down, but the intangible benefits of the scholarship were far more important. The pastoral care, the setting of goals for yourself, networking and making sure that outside of uni you had a good time as well.

“It gave me focus and direction while I was at uni to see the end goal of graduating and the DairyNZ scholarship played a big part in that.”

Sam is one of the youngest Dairy Environment Leaders scattered throughout New Zealand who meet annually in Wellington.

He says the 100-plus group plays a vital part in advocacy and what will happen on farms in the future. DairyNZ discussion groups are other valuable networking forums.

Today’s young farmers, like Sam, are at the cutting edge of technology in the dairy sector.

“Within my role there is some really exciting stuff happening. During milking I can just plug in a cow’s number and it brings up all her ancestry, how much milk she has produced and her calving history and compares her to the herd average.

“More and more farmers are using GPS for feeding and fertiliser application to maximise returns while minimising environment effects and there are so many other areas where the dairy sector uses high-end technology.

“There is heaps of cool stuff happening. The dairy sector just needs more people to get involved to develop this technology and roll it out on farms because it is really going to help in the future.”

Sam’s advice to anyone interested in dairy farming is to follow what you are passionate about.

“In the dairy sector the career opportunities are endless – from getting your gumboots on in the morning on time, to being  involved in the milk quality and service industry helping farmers, to working for multi-national companies overseas.”

Learn more at dairynz.co.nz/scholarships

Article originally published in Leaving School magazine, Issue #15, May 2019 

Below: Sam at Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum 2018 in Wellington.

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