Young Farmers profiles: Dairy herd manager Luke Wing
PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 October 2015
As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club (YFC) members, dairy herd manager LUKE WING tells us about farming life on the other side of the world.
G’day! I am Luke Wing and I am a herd manager on a 1,250-cow dairy farm in New Zealand.
It sounds a bit serious but it’s actually like a senior farm assistant. I work with eight others running this farm and it’s really a team environment.
I enjoy working in this industry as it’s constantly challenging me and it has a good scoop of variety involved in it. For example myself and six others work around a well laid-out roster consisting of a different job every day twice a day, like milking the cows in the morning and getting the cows in for someone else in the afternoon.
The job is working outside and with animals which I really enjoy, the team is bound really well due to a great boss that delivers a good team spirit. The dairy industry in New Zealand has a very structured promotion scale. Starting off at farm assistant I climbed to herd manager with in a year and there is still a long way I could go upwards from here.
This week we have just started the mating season, this means we have tail-painted roughly 750 cows and applied heat detection aids to help indicate when a cow is on heat or showing signs of oestrus. These cows then get separated from the herd to become artificially inseminated. The idea of this is to get as many cows in calf in the first six weeks of mating to create a tight pattern of calving cows in the calving season, so to get as many cows calving in the first six weeks of the calving season as possible.
This allows cows to recover from pregnancy to then be re inseminated giving the best chance possible to get her in calf again, and so the cycle continues year after year.
Since October 2011, Young Farmers has been my life. I started off facing my fears of public speaking, getting involved with Wymondham YFC’s annual pantomime, learning public speaking, teamwork, and friendship and ultimately raising money for charity. Other events and courses are held throughout the year such as leadership courses where you meet other members from around the country.
Preparation for the Norfolk Show exhibit always brings team spirit to the club. The rally competition day involves learning everything from skinning a rabbit to cookery, and from changing a tyre in a car to doing a 10-minute skit on stage. Clubs hold a dinner dance and a party throughout the year to raise money for the club they are always fun.
The organisation means the world to me and I will be with it throughout my life, helping out where possible, because I know it has a lot to offer and to see it benefiting others is great.
Name: Luke Wing
Workplace: New Zealand
Job Title: Herd Manager, Dairy Farming
YFC club: Wymondham
How long have you been a YFC member?: Since October 2011