Pride in new gen­er­a­tion

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Two past win­ners in the New Zealand Dairy In­dus­try Awards re­main ac­tive as they en­joy see­ing oth­ers suc­ceed in the dairy in­dus­try – and it keeps them on their toes.

“I just get a real kick out of see­ing peo­ple try­ing to do their best and the new gen­er­a­tion coming through,” says Rex Kane, 2004 South­land Sharemilker of the Year with wife Roslynne.

Dave Davis, 2001 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year with wife Julie, says they have been to many places through the awards and it’s “quite cool” to see peo­ple suc­ceed in their ca­reer.

Fol­low­ing their suc­cesses, both cou­ples be­came ac­tive in the awards. The Kanes con­vened the South­land re­gional com­pe­ti­tion and Mr Kane spent three years on the na­tional or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee. “We got just as much out of con­ven­ing as we did en­ter­ing.”

Mr Kane en­joyed be­ing on the na­tional com­mit­tee, which en­abled him to wit­ness ex­cel­lence and pro­gres­sion within the in­dus­try. He has also judged in South­land, Otago and Can­ter­bury, al­ways learn­ing in the process. “It might be just a lit­tle thing and you shake your head and think ‘why didn’t I think of that’. We used to look up to the guys judg­ing and think we will never get to that stage, and be­fore we knew it, we had peo­ple ring­ing up for ad­vice.”

The Davis’ en­tered five times be­fore suc­ceed­ing. “Each year we would get feed­back from judges and go to field days and see what the judges could see in the win­ners. We were in hook, line and sinker.”

Af­ter their win, Mrs Davis went on the na­tional com­mit­tee and is now the awards’ na­tional ad­min­is­tra­tion man­ager. Mr Davis is a judge, in­clud­ing two years as na­tional judge for the Sharemilker/Eq­uity Farmer of the Year. This vol­un­tary role re­quired two weeks on the road vis­it­ing re­gional win­ners. “It was a big com­mit­ment, but was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Mr Davis en­cour­ages all en­trants to try again if they are un­suc­cess­ful. “En­ter­ing keeps you on track with a lot of things... It’s not just about win­ning. It prob­a­bly makes you stronger.”

The awards pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn, to present, to meet peo­ple and to gain recog­ni­tion. The first year, they tar­geted just one merit awards, around best herd records, and won.

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