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Early Call For Sharemilkers

14 May 2002

Sharemilkers are used to getting up early.

So the organisers of the 2003 Federated Farmers Sharemilker of the Year have decided to take advantage of their habits and are opening entries early for next year’s competition.

“The 2002 national final held in Hamilton last weekend was such a huge success that we decided to take advantage of the buzz created by the event and encourage sharemilkers to commit to next year now,” says Greg Maughan, chairman of the management committee.

Normally entries for the prestigious competition, now in its 14th year, do not open until November.

“But sharemilkers are pretty busy on their farms leading into Christmas and people are so hyped up about this year’s competition we thought we’d encourage them to put their names down while they’re so motivated,” Mr Maughan says.

By entering early, sharemilkers have the chance to focus their skills and work on areas of their business they think might need improvement, he said.

This year’s winners, Paul and Judy Clark from Ngatea (Auckland/North Waikato region) won a $36,000 prize package as well as merit awards for financial management and leadership.

But Mr Maughan says the greatest benefits of taking part in the competition are not just material.

“Convenors around the region reported back that many of their first time entrants told them they had learned a huge amount from the judges that would benefit them in the future. Some even said it was like having professional consultants giving them free advice.

“Success at regional and national levels is seen by both sharemilkers and farm owners as evidence of a sharemilker’s business and practical skills; their ability to set and achieve goals and to make the most of a property’s challenges,” Mr Maughan says.

Those who have done well in past sharemilker of the year events report their success has given them added credibility when applying for sharemilking positions. In an increasingly competitive field, it is regarded as a valuable credential on a CV.

The competition also works well for its sponsors, Mr Maughan says.

“After last weekend’s fantastic final, many of our sponsors have indicated their keenness to continue their involvement.”

Current national sponsors are Federated Farmers (which also owns the event), ACC, AnchorMart /Town and Country, Bank of New Zealand, Dexcel, Ecolab, Fencepost.com, Blue Wing Honda, Gallagher Group, Livestock Improvement and Ravensdown Fertiliser.

Entry forms for New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year regional competitions are available from Federated Farmers offices, or by calling 0800 Farming (0800 327-646).

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