Runners-up for the Canterbury/North Otago Sharemilker of the Year title are Shaun and Andrea Wise, who contract milk 590 cows for Dairy Holdings on a 134ha Rangitata Island property.
Across the three categories; sharemilker/equity farmer, farm manager, and trainee; 525 entries were received by the December 20 deadline, say organisers.
That comfortably tops last year’s 497 entries and edges ahead of the previous best, in 2010, of 508.
“It’s a great result to ponder over the Christmas and New Year break and will deliver the strongest ever competition,” says national convenor, Chris Keeping.
The awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner AgITO.
Keeping says 148 sharemilker/equity farmer, 158 farm manager, and 219 dairy trainee entries were received.
Of the 148 sharemilker/equity entrants, 16 are equity farm managers, 64 are 50% sharemilkers and 68 are lower order sharemilkers. For the first time Northland tops the sharemilker/equity farmer entrants with 20.
Waikato has most entrants overall at 73 across the three contests, with Canterbury/North Otago second on 65.
“What is also really pleasing is the number of first time entrants in the awards, with 384 people entering for the first time this year,” says Keeping.
“Some of our finalists and winners last year had entered the awards three, four and even five times. Each time they gain from the experience and strive to do better for them personally and their business. So the large number of first time entrants bodes well for the awards’ future,” she adds.
Entrants will be invited to attend information evenings in January to help prepare for judging, which begins in late January. The first of the regional awards dinners and winners will be announced in late February.
All regional winners will progress to the national finals in Auckland on May 12, 2012. Further information on the awards can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.