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Third Time Lucky For Sharemilkers

Third Time Lucky For Sharemilkers

It was a case of third time lucky for Ngatea sharemilkers Mitchell and Lynnette Bragg, winners of the Auckland/North Waikato region of the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition.

The Braggs were announced the winners, and received about $8000 in prizes, at an awards function at Waipuna Lodge last night. They will now go on to compete for more than $60,000 in prizes at the national competition.

The couple say they have entered the competition three years running to build their profile and enable their sharemilking business to grow. "We also want to have two SMOTY jackets hanging in our wardrobe!

"The competition has focused us to take an in-depth look into our business and enables us to meet like-minded people," they say. "We have really made some awesome friends."

They also agree that the competition, run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc, gives them an opportunity to benchmark their business against some of the best sharemilkers in New Zealand.

"We've received some good feedback and advice from the excellent farmers and other judges who have visited our farm. By entering we have also learnt how to better market ourselves and our abilities."

While they are in their sixth year sharemilking, Mitchell and Lynnette are in their first season in their current position sharemilking 520 cows on Pouarua D farm, a Landcorp-owned property near Ngatea.

The 100% peat property was converted to dairying eight years ago, and some blocks on the farm have only been out of scrub for three years.

The couple has previously spent three years sharemilking 320 cows in Turua, also on the Hauraki Plains, and two years at Wellsford sharemilking 420 cows.

Mitchell and Lynnette plan to become corporate sharemilkers.

"We want to utilise our management skills to grow our business, while also enjoying our family lifestyle and providing a quality education for our children."

They have four children and are involved in numerous community and sporting organisations.

The Auckland/North Waikato is the first region to announce their winners in the national competition sponsored by ACC, Blue Wing Honda, Bank of New Zealand, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement, Ravensdown, Ecolab, RD1, Dairy InSight and Dexcel.

A field day will be held on the Braggs property on March 25, with more details to be released soon.

The Waikato winners will be announced next at a function in Hamilton on Saturday, March 8. All 11 regional winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year will progress to a national final to be held in Auckland on May 3.

© Scoop Media

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