Dairy award entries roll in
The Waikato certainly has a healthy amount of new farming blood coming through the ranks if the 2011-2012 Dairy Industry Awards entries are anything to go by.
Rachel Baker, joint Waikato regional convenor with Bas Nelis this year, said that, overall, the Waikato had received 17 Sharemilker-equity Farmer of the Year entries, 22 Farm Manager of the Year entrants and 32 Dairy Trainee of the Year entries. That is 71 competition entries from the Waikato in total.
Both the sharemilker and the farm manager categories are up on last year.
‘‘We’re very pleased with those numbers,’’ Ms Baker said.
‘‘We’ve had a fantastic season with a pretty good payout and so I think that plays a part in people feeling optimistic.
‘‘I think also lots of entrants see the competition as a great way to assess where their business is at.’’
Ms Baker said the high number of entries in the dairy trainee section was particularly pleasing. ‘‘There are a lot of young people working on farms these days who want to make farming their career so this competition is a great stepping stone for them,’’ she said.
Entries closed on December 20 and the first round of judging is from February 7 to 10 with the finalists announced after that. Judging of the finalists is from February 21 to 23. The Waikato regional winner goes to the national awards, to be held in Auckland in May.