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5 in 5 with Tony Eade

Last week we caught up with Foxton Dairy Farmer, Tony Eade. This local volunteer firefighter was recently featured on Farmers Weekly #OnFarmStory, we took 5 minutes to talk about farming, development and leadership.

Tony, describe your current farming position.

I work on a dairy farm just North of Levin, for Grant and Catherine Lovelock, who are 50/50 sharemilkers. We are twice a day milking 650 cows.

1. In 5-10 words what is your farming philosophy?

Keep it simple and enjoy it.

2. What is your favourite time of the year on farm and why?

I really enjoy late summer when it is cooling down a bit. It’s busy enough on the farm but it’s not too hot in the cow shed. Calving is also a really enjoyable time because you are busy.

3. What strategies does your enterprise use to ensure that staff members can continually learn and develop?

Between us all, four workers and Grant the farm owner, we always talk about what is happening on the farm. We are all involved and are aware of what is happening, and why it’s happening. We get a lot of great ideas from sharing between each other.

Grant and Catherine are flexible and supportive of time off farm for passions, within reason of course. They are really good at recognising that you have to have something else in your life. In regards to my passion they understand my commitment to the fire service and they are really supportive and work things out if I happen to be late, need to attend a course, or a big call out.

4. What do you do to switch off from the farm?

I really enjoy trail bike riding with our two boys - it’s a really good way to relax. We have a contiki that the family take down to the beach and of course taking time to sit down with my wife to have a drink after work is always a pleasure. I’m also teaching my daughter how to drive at the moment, which is a bit of fun.

It is a bit easier living off farm, you’re not looking at it all the time. I always ensure I have other things on to take my mind off the job.

5. How would you describe your leadership style?

I like to communicate openly and gather others ideas. I lead from the front. My philosophy is "Never ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself". There are always jobs no one enjoys doing but they need to get done, and it is only fair if these jobs are fairly shared around.

6. Five words to describe your farming team

Fun, Open Communication, Committed, Hard Workers, Encouraging

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