Early bird en­tries open for awards

Waikato News - - News -

En­tries for the New Zealand Dairy In­dus­try Awards are now be­ing ac­cepted at dairyin­dus­tryawards.co.nz un­til Novem­ber 30, with early bird en­tries clos­ing at mid­night on Novem­ber 9.

The awards en­cour­age best prac­tice and the shar­ing of ex­cel­lence and also iden­tify and pro­mote the dairy in­dus­try’s fu­ture lead­ers. They en­able peo­ple to progress through the awards as a per­son pro­gresses through the dairy in­dus­try— from farm worker to herd man­ager, farm man­ager and con­tract milker to share milker.

2016 Na­tional Share Farm­ers of the Year Mark and Jaime Arnold were en­cour­aged to enter the awards by their em­ploy­ers, farm own­ers Stu­art and San­dra Cordell, who saw the awards as an op­por­tu­nity to en­cour­age their growth.

“Twenty years ago Stu­art and I en­tered the Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa Sharemilker of the Year com­pe­ti­tion for the first time and found it hugely ben­e­fi­cial to take the time to fo­cus on our own busi­ness,” said San­dra. “You make time to an­a­lyse your farm and your busi­ness and what works best and what could work bet­ter.”

The Arnolds had been in the dairy in­dus­try for three and a half years when they came to work for the Cordells, in their first lower or­der share milk­ing po­si­tion.

They are now in their sixth sea­son on the farm, and milk 500 cows on 167ha.

“Mark and Jaime are hugely pas­sion­ate and en­thu­si­as­tic. It wasn’t our in­ten­tion to have 50/50 share milk­ers, but we put the pro­posal to them as it is im­por­tant to en­cour­age their growth,” said San­dra.

“We also en­cour­aged them to at­tend DairyNZ Mark and Mea­sure and at­tend the Fon­terra Un­der­stand Your Co­op­er­a­tive Pro­gramme.

“NZ dairy farm­ers need to en­cour­age the next gen­er­a­tion and make op­por­tu­ni­ties as none of us are get­ting any younger,” noted Stu­art.

“The ben­e­fits of Mark and Jaime en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion are that they are fir­ing on all cylin­ders; they’re focused and in­ter­ested in the dairy in­dus­try and our dairy farm, so it’s kept us on our toes as we sup­port them.”

The Cordells be­lieve the process of en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion and ‘putting your­self out there’ is the main gain, with great leaps in per­sonal growth seen in Mark and Jaime dur­ing the path to win­ning the re­gional, then na­tional Share Farmer com­pe­ti­tion.

The judg­ing pe­riod wasn’t par­tic­u­larly stress­ful for the Cordells, who saw their role as farm own­ers as one of sup­port and to pro­vide all the in­for­ma­tion needed, in­clud­ing ac­cess to all records such as nu­tri­ent man­age­ment re­ports, sus­tain­able milk plans, fer­tiliser plans and ru­ral pro­fes­sion­als.

“It’s their chance to shine, so we just have the tools in place for them to claim, own and run with,” said San­dra.

The New Zealand Dairy In­dus­try Awards are run in 11 re­gions by ded­i­cated and pas­sion­ate vol­un­teers— many of whom are past win­ners.

The awards are sup­ported by DairyNZ, De Laval, Eco­lab, Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, Fon­terra Farm Source, Honda Mo­tor­cy­cles NZ, LIC, Meri­dan Energy, Ravens­down, West­pac and in­dus­try part­ner Pri­mary ITO. For more in­for­ma­tion on en­try cri­te­ria, see www.dairyin­dus­tryawards.co.nz.

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