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Entries Up In National Sharemilker Contest

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Entries Up In National Sharemilker Contest

Entries in the 15th New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition are up on last year, with 145 sharemilkers entering the nationwide contest.

Competition Chairman Greg Maughan says entry numbers are up from 136 last year and reflect a dedicated effort by the convenors of the 11 regional competitions to encourage promising sharemilkers to participate.

"The convenors have worked hard to gain entrants for the contest, seeking to promote and recognise excellence in sharemilking.

"It's also great that we have been able to continue the steady increase of entry numbers since 2000.

"For the first time in two years we are running a competition in the Canterbury region, after receiving 10 entries there. So it's a good result all around," Mr Maughan says.

"It's also particularly pleasing for me, as this is my last year chairing the competition, and like other sharemilkers involved I've been passionate about this competition and have been working hard to ensure it continues to run well into the future."

Mr Maughan says the number of entries received is also good in the current climate, with both sharemilkers and farm owners having to cope with the lower payout forecast and an unkind season.

"People are not so keen to show off their properties when they are not looking their best because of a dry summer or other matters beyond their control. This shouldn't be the case, as the tougher seasons are the ones where the better performers stand out more from the pack."

He says it is also pleasing that a large percentage of entries in the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year, run in association with Federated Farmers, have come from first-time entrants.

The contest is offering an award for the best first-time entrant this year.

"Over the years we have seen people enter a number of times before winning their regional final or the national award. They all tell us it is a great learning experience and they enjoy meeting the other entrants and hearing about how they operate their businesses."

Judging in the competition, sponsored by Blue Wing Honda, ACC, Dairy InSight, Ravensdown, Livestock Improvement, Fonterra, Ecolab, Bank of New Zealand, RD1 and Dexcel, begins on February 10.

Regional finals awards evenings begin on March 6, with the winners of the 11 regional competitions progressing to the national final in Auckland on May 3.

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