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.
National convenor Chris Keeping says 403 entries had been received by December 8, with about 70% of those entering one of the competitions for the first time.
“Feedback we have received over the years reinforces that all entrants gain from the process of entering and having their skills and business reviewed – this makes the effort and energy required to enter hugely worthwhile,” says Keeping.
There are three levels of the awards: New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.
Keeping says entrants benefit from: increased self confidence; meeting and networking with other entrants, sponsors and industry representatives; developing a farm business plan and steps to achieve that plan; feedback from judges on areas of excellence and areas where they could improve their business; enhanced reputation; and of course, a substantial prize pool.
Nearly $140,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the national winners, while the 12 regional competitions offer prize pools up to $70,000.
The New Zealand Dairy Industry 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.
Entrants first enter one of the 12 regional competitions being held around the country. The three winners from each of those regional competitions will then progress to the national final, which will be held in Auckland in May next year.
More on www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz. Entries close December 20.