On the ladder to success 

Jimmy Cleaver wants to go sharemilking in a few years. 

Jimmy Cleaver is a 23-year-old farm manager who is passionate about his work in the dairy sector and looking after his team.

“I went dairy farming because of the possibilities it offers me. Not many jobs allow you to climb the ladder as quickly, becoming a farm manager by 19 and then be able to go off sharemilking by 26,” he says.

Jimmy, a farm manager at Rangiriri, was named Auckland/Hauraki dairy manager of the year at the 2022 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards and received the national DairyNZ people and leadership award.

“The first year I entered the dairy industry awards in 2021, I went in with an open mindset. I was young and just wanted to see what a young person could achieve, and see what I could learn and improve on.

“When I entered this year, our farm had just had a very good year. I had taken on the feedback from the year before, and ahead of the awards night I knew that I had done everything I could do to win.

“Looking at my future goals, I want to go sharemilking in a few years’ time, and I already own some of my own cows to help achieve this. My other goal is to be able to offer others the same opportunities I have received, as I am grateful and want to pass that on to others.”

DairyNZ’s GoDairy programme continues its recruitment drive showcasing careers, like Jimmy’s, in the dairy sector.

DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Nick Robinson says the sector continues to encourage people to join the sector, as one in three dairy farms seek to fill on-farm vacancies.

“The dairy sector provides 37,000 on-farm jobs for Kiwis. We want to continue to recruit good people, and there are plenty of opportunities out there for keen Kiwis to join us and get involved, while starting on great salaries and having clear progression pathways,” says Mr Robinson.

Farm managers can earn over $100,000. Becoming self-employed as a farm owner or sharemilker is another option on the career ladder.

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