2017 Award Winner
Morgan Easton, the 2017 recipient of the award, hails from NZs Waitaki Valley, where both his father and grandfather were livestock and cropping farmers. The original property was converted to dairy in the early 1990s and sold, after which the family bought another sheep and beef farm on the northern side of the Waitaki River and also converted it to dairy. Morgan and his family live on one of their properties Twin Terraces a dairy farm in Papakaio.
Easton completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree at Lincoln University, spending his last year at Cornell University in upstate New York.
On his return to New Zealand, he worked for Dexcel (now DairyNZ) for 18 months, based out of Dunedin. He was then awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and obtained a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, in Indiana.
Morgan returned home to NZ in 2008 to assist in the development and to sharemilk Twin Terraces.
In 2013, Easton and his wife, Hayley, won the Canterbury-North Otago Sharemilker-Equity Farmer of the Year title, and went on to be runners-up in the national competition. That year he also attended the US-NZ Pacific Partnership Forum in Washington DC.
Easton, along with his wife and parents have subsequently bought a neighbouring farm which they have redeveloped. The couple, who have three young children, are now overseeing the three dairy farms that they own with his parents - milking a total of 2500 cows, the synergies between the three - including sharing staff and machinery - worked well, he said.
Thrilled to have taken out the 2017 award, Easton was particularly attracted to the tailored mentoring provided by PPP members. He is using the opportunity to tap into their expertise on how best to continue growing and thriving in a family business. He also has his private plane licence, so relished the opportunity to travel in the Pilatus PC-12 for parts of his Australian mentoring trip.
Having won the Zanda McDonald award Morgan was invited to speak at the 2018 Australian Beef Expo in Rockhampton