MANILA, Philippines - A Filipino was named the Best Farm Manager of the Year from Otago during the Dairy Industry Awards last April 6.
Neil Molina, a farm manager at Concept Holding in Ranfurly, New Zealand, also received the AgITO Human Resources Management Award.
The awards are part of an annual search for farmers across New Zealand and at various levels of the dairy industry who excel.
Molina is employed by Greg and Kelly Kirkwood who have employed 13 Filipinos to take care of 2,300 heads of cattle.
As a farm manager, Molina helped maximize operations and upgraded farm efficiency.
"I am blessed to have very good and wonderful farm owners and dedicated and motivated farm workers and together we strive to make our farm as highly productive and efficient as possible. This award belongs to them," he said.
Molina, who formerly managed the Batangas Dairy Cooperative, was also featured in the cover of the Guide for Migrant Dairy Farm Workers produced by Immigration New Zealand last year.
Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia H. Benavidez congratulated Molina, saying he is an inspiration for many Filipinos working in the dairy sector of New Zealand.
"Whenever I visited dairy farms in the North and South Islands, the unanimous and heartwarming feedback gathered from farm owners, managers and officers of farmers’ organizations is that the Filipinos have changed the dynamics of the farms. Together with the other Filipinos in the dairy sector whose works and talents have been recognized in New Zealand, you continue to do our country and people proud," Benavidez said.