Plans finalised for 2015 dairy award season

By: Media Release

Plans have finalised for the 2015 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, 2015 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and 2015 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

This year a record 572 entries were received in the competitions, including nearly 300 entries in the dairy trainee contest alone.

"The growth in the trainee competition has been phenomenal," national convenor Chris Keeping says. "There has been a nearly 300% growth in seven years! The benefits young dairy farmers gain from demonstrating their knowledge and skills is obviously a real credit to the contest and it’s great to see these farmers receive kudos that helps them progress their dairy farming career."

Mrs Keeping says the growth has caused organisers to look at the processes used to manage the entries and changes have consequently been made around the timing of entries.

"We’ve decided to call for entries earlier and close them earlier. This allows us more time to chase any outstanding entry information and organise judging before people go on Christmas holidays."

Entries in the 2015 awards programme will be accepted online from October 20 and will close on November 30.

"It’s quite a change as people are used to thinking they have to get their entry in by Christmas. We also recognise that it is a busier time on farm with mating and silage making happening so we know we will have to work hard and support those keen to enter."

The longevity of the awards reinforces the many benefits to be had by those that do take the time to enter, in terms of career progression, increased confidence and new friends and networks.

The 2015 awards programme includes competitions in 11 regions, with the winners of those regional competitions progressing to the national final. In 2015 the national final will be held in Auckland on Saturday May 2. TV3 presenter Mike McRoberts has been confirmed as the MC for the black tie event.

The Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown, RD1 and Triplejump, along with industry partner Primary ITO.

Organisers, regional competition convenors and sponsors will meet in Rotorua in early October to complete preparation for the 2015 awards programme.

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