Awards huge 'pat on back'
Dipton man Daniel Schwarz has plenty of reasons to get out of bed in the morning.
The 21-year-old dairy herd manager and his partner, Hanna Butcher, have three children - Kayla, 6, Travis, 5, and Charlotte, 1, - and are expecting another baby next month.
Schwarz has won the 2012 AgITO Overall Southland Trainee of the Year and Outstanding Junior Dairy Trainee of the Year awards. He said the titles had given his confidence a welcome boost.
"It's just like a pat on the back really. Lets you know that what you're doing and where you're going is working for you so keep going," he said.
He would always be grateful to his employer, Trevor Butcher, for helping him.
Schwarz said he had been given every opportunity to learn.
"And I'm just one of those people, if you're going to dangle a carrot in front of me I'm going to take it."
Schwarz said his next goals were to secure a farm manager's position and gain acceptance into AgITO's Farming to Succeed programme.
"It's such a big step and it is intimidating but I work my bum off, always have, always will."
However, that did not mean working alone.
He and his partner both attended the DairyNZ Biz Grow course and enjoyed being among other like-minded people, he said.
The couple had also bought sexed semen they hoped would result in heifer calves from their fledgling herd of 10 cows, leased to Trevor Butcher, which they would then be able to keep.
Schwarz planned to develop his skills by attending an artificial insemination course.
"I'm not chasing the dollar, I'm chasing knowledge and growth," he said.
The Southland Times