Delacon farm in Southland: An inspiring success story of a filipino couple in dairy farming in New Zealand
This is the first of the Philippine Embassy’s series of articles featuring heartwarming testimonies and inspiring stories of Filipinos who continue to make their mark in the dairy industry in New Zealand and share their vital contributions for the benefit of the people of the Philippines and New Zealand. Their talents, sacrifices and achievements in the dairy sector are truly exemplary and commendable.
The distinct recognition and deep appreciation of the leaders and people of New Zealand to the hugely important contributions of Filipinos in the dairy farms throughout the North and South Islands in New Zealand were reiterated when Minister of Trade Tim Groser and Director of Fonterra, Mr. John Monaghan who were in Manila on 4-6 June 2014 cited the Filipinos’ successful venture in becoming dairy farm owners in the country. DELACON Farm, owned and operated by Marco and his wife, Bughaw (Boogie) dela Concepcion in Woodlands, Invercargill stands as a proud testimony of the Filipino couple’s hard work, courage, dedication and determination to rise up in the dairy sector and achieve their goal of owning cows and operating their dairy farm. Marco dela Concepcion started as a farm assistant in 2005 when he arrived in New Zealand and began his journey of learning as much as he could and availing of opportunities to upgrade his skills in dairy farming operations and technologies in New Zealand. For her part, Boogie dela Concepcion helped her husband through the years in raising calves, taking care of the cows until they get pregnant and are ready for milking, supplementing their income through part time work in nearby farms and gaining knowledge and skills needed for responsible dairy farming standards. They started by leasing cows and now own 400 cows. In building up their assets, Marco and Boogie would buy cows instead of receiving pay increases from their employers and were bold enough to avail of loans from the local banks to increase their equity in dairy farming. With just one farm hand to assist them, Marco and Boogie operate DELACON Farm by themselves while at the same time taking care of their three children ages 6 and 3 years old and 1 year old and inculcating in them the values of helping in the farms. They have been encouraging and advising Filipino dairy workers to continually upskill themselves, strive to reach higher goals in the dairy industry, get their spouses involved and instill the importance of teamwork in dairy farming and have the necessary knowledge, skills and positive attitude in availing of loans from the banks and having a good reputation and track record of performance, reliability and trustworthiness.
Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez congratulated Marco and Boogie dela Concepcion and said that they serve as inspiration and model for other Filipino dairy workers to follow for their excellent work and exemplary contributions to the development and upliftment of Filipino dairy workers and the dairy industry in New Zealand and the Philippines. “I met Marco during the Embassy’s first mobile consular services in Invercargill in November 2011 and he took me around the farm he was working in and shared their efforts at that time in taking care of the cows as part of their equity in the farm. Marco and his wife really live and breathe dairy and their passion for pursuing their dreams in this sector is exemplary. I was told that Boogie’s love for her cows was such that she was still milking them and ensuring they were properly looked after until it was time for her to give birth to her second child,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.