Dairy award list strong

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY / NGA¯ KO¯RERO TAIWHENUA -

The fi­nal­ists have been found in the 2015 Waikato Dairy In­dus­try Awards, with the win­ners to be an­nounced at a din­ner in Hamil­ton on March 6.

Awards re­gional manager Michelle McPher­son said it had 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 says the dairy trainee judg­ing is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, as the trainees all came to­gether to par­tic­i­pate in a prac­ti­cal skills’ test and took 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 Dairy In­dus­try Awards are sup­ported by na­tional spon­sors West­pac, DairyNZ, Eco­lab, Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, Fon­terra, Honda Mo­tor­cy­cles, LIC, Merid­ian En­ergy, Ravens­down, New Zealand Farm Source, Triple­jump, along with in­dus­try part­ner Pri­mary ITO.

Tick­ets to the Waikato awards din­ner at the Claude­lands Event Cen­tre cost $85 and can be bought on­line at dairyin­dus­try awards.co.nz.

‘‘The din­ner is al­ways a great night and I re­ally en­cour­age peo­ple to come along to sup­port our fu­ture dairy in­dus­try lead­ers and cel­e­brate in their suc­cess.’’

The three Waikato ti­tle win­ners will progress to the na­tional fi­nals to be held in Auck­land on May 2.

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