A Filipino dairy farmer was awarded the 2021 Dairy Manager of the Year Award in New Zealand.
According to Christopher Vila, he started as a farm assistant on a 1,200-cow farm. Vila, from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, went to New Zealand in 2008.
Because his previous job in the Philippines was as a swine and poultry veterinarian, he had to adjust.
“Then I saw an opportunity to step my career even further and became a manager in this farm in the past 7 years. This year will be my 8th season in the same farm,” he said.
The award as Dairy Manager of the Year at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards is proof that it can face the challenges, he said.
“Personally for me, it’s a good personal validation that even though we have doubts about our strength and capabilities, we should summon up our courage to try,” said Vila.
He received 22,000 New Zealand dollars or more than P735,000.
This is in addition to his winning De Laval Livestock Management Merit Award this year.
Filipino recognized as 2021 Dairy Manager of the Year in New Zealand
It is an honor for the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand to recognize Filipinos in the field of dairy farming.
“It goes to show yung galing ng Pinoy na ating mga bagong bayani. Especially dito sa New Zealand, the number 1 industry is dairy and we’re very proud that we have a kababayan who has been recognized as top manager of top industry. So it shows the Filipino community in New Zealand of 80,000 is really coming of age,” said Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Gary Domingo.
“Filipinos are known to be good workers. Keep doing what you’re doing but do not stop there. Learn and find ways to improve and further your careers by setting a goal and taking steps to achieve it,” he said.
72,612 people identified as part of the Filipino ethnic group at the 2018 New Zealand census, making up 1.5% of New Zealand’s population.