Farm­ers flock to en­ter dairy in­dus­try awards

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Arecord num­ber of peo­ple have en­tered the 2012 New Zealand Dairy In­dus­try Awards, the awards trust says.

Na­tional con­vener Chris Keep­ing said the 525 en­tries would pro­vide the strong­est com­pe­ti­tion in the awards. The to­tal is up 28 on last year and up 17 from the pre­vi­ous record of 508 en­tries the year be­fore.

The Waikato re­gion has the most en­tries this year, with 73 en­tries across the three cat­e­gories of sharemilker-eq­uity farmer, farm man­ager and dairy trainee. The Can­ter­bury-north Otago re­gion had the sec­ond high­est num­ber of en­tries at 65.

‘‘What is also re­ally pleas­ing is the num­ber of first-time en­trants in the awards, with 384 peo­ple en­ter­ing for the first time this year,’’ Mrs Keep­ing said.

‘‘Some of our fi­nal­ists and win­ners last year had en­tered the awards three, four and even five times. Each time they gain from the ex­pe­ri­ence and strive to do bet­ter for them per­son­ally and their busi­ness.’’

Judg­ing be­gins this week, with the first of the re­gional award win­ners an­nounced in late Fe­bru­ary. Re­gional win­ners will progress to the fi­nals in Auck­land in May.

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