After a 12-year break, Auckland Hauraki sharemilkers of the year Dave and Lisa Ritchie have made a successful return to dairy farming by winning one of the region's dairy industry awards.
The Ritchies are in their second season sharemilking 200 cows at Karaka, in South Auckland.
The couple returned to the industry in 2006, with Dave Ritchie taking on a farm worker's position for two years until they found a suitable sharemilking partnership.
They say their goal is to move to a larger position in South Auckland and then consider an equity position or farm ownership.
The Auckland Hauraki farm manager of the year is Paul Mahoney, and dairy trainee of the year Leon Wynolts.