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Quality Entries In Fonterra Westpac Dairy Awards

Quality Entries In Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards

A total of 82 entries have been received in the 2003 Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards.

Awards Chairman Jim van der Poel says the quality of those entries is high and organisers are expecting an interesting competition.

"We are very pleased with who has come forward and entered. Our regional committees have worked overtime to attract award entries of a high standard and increase the profile of the awards within regions," Mr van der Poel says.

"The Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards are going to have extremely good competitions and the regional winners will be very good winners."

He says the awards will run competitions in seven regions, giving prizes for best farm business, farm manager and environment, while also recognising lifetime achievement in the dairy industry within those regions.

"As there were insufficient entries received from farmers in Taranaki, the Taranaki entrants will now join others in an enlarged Manawatu-Taranaki region."

Westpac North Island Manager Tony Bradley says entrants will now be preparing for the judges arrival, with three judges visiting each of the entrants in the farm business category and two judges visiting the farm managers.

"The judging process can be quite challenging for some entrants, while at the same time they all tell us they gain valuable information from the judges on how they can make improvements to their farm business to lift productivity."

The judging process is rigorous and independent, and will include a Dexcel consulting officer, Westpac agribusiness manager and a respected farmer involved in the process.

The seven regional winners will each progress to the national final in Palmerston North on June 27.

The awards have the support of Dexcel and are sponsored by Ravensdown, Pioneer, DTS, Livestock Improvement, RD1 and Fegan and Co.

Regional awards dinners begin in April.

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