Local farmers named as finalists
Several Matamata dairy farmers are finalists in the 2015 Waikato Dairy Industry Awards, with the winners announced on March 6.
Two Matamata sharemilkers, including 50 per cent sharemilkers David and Lisa Anderson, who milk 360 cows, and 21 per cent sharemilkers Chad and Jan Winke, who milk 630 cows, are Waikato Sharemilker/ Equity Farmer of the Year finalists.
Mark Fouhy and Denise Lupton, who contract milk 317 cows, are the only Matamata finalists for the Waikato Farm Manager of the Year section.
Astra-lee Burrows is the only Matamata finalist in the Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year section.
The DIA regional manager, Michelle McPherson, said it has been an exciting time as judges visited the farms of the entrants in the Waikato Sharemilker/ Equity Farmer of the Year and Waikato Farm Manager of the Year competitions.
‘‘ We’ve had some excellent feedback about this year’s group of entrants and so we are confident that the finalists – and ultimately our winners – will represent the region strongly.’’
McPherson said judges spent two hours on the sharemilker/ equity farmer and farm manager entrants’ farms, and a new team of judges will revisit to undertake the finals judging.
‘‘The judges take a strong interest in how the entrants are farming the properties to maximise the resources available and in a way that also helps them to meet their next farming, personal or business goal.’’
She said the dairy trainee judging is a little different, as the trainees all come together to participate in a practical skills’ test and take part in an individual interview.
The Waikato region received 50 entries in total, including 10 competing in the Waikato Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, 12 entered in the Waikato Farm Manager of the Year and 28 entered in the Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.
The three Waikato title winners, announced at a dinner in Hamilton on March 6, will progress to the national finals to be held in Auckland on May 2.
Tickets to the Waikato awards dinner at the Claudelands Event Centre cost $85 and can be purchased online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.
FARMING FINALIST: Astra-lee Burrows from Matamata is a Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year finalist.