Dairy award en­tries roll in

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By JEREMY SMITH

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.

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