Many successful dairy farmers in New Zealand started their management careers sharemilking. Indeed, 36% of the 11,618 milk supply contracts in place in 2008/9 were sharemilking agreements – a figure that hasn’t changed much in 10 years.
And it is probably testament to the incentive they give young producers to work hard, and produce results, that the average milk solids of a herd where a sharemilker is involved is seven percent greater than an owner-operator.
Sharemilking agreements are share-leasing arrangements, explains John Gardner, an expert in sharemilking from Massey University, Palmerston North.
“The sharemilker pays rent in the form of a share of production for the use of the farm owner’s capital.