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Sharemilker Winners Focused On Farm Ownership Goal

March 15 2003

Manawatu Rangitikei Sharemilker Winners Focused On Farm Ownership Goal

Manawatu Rangitikei Sharemilker of the Year winners Michael and Tracey Collis attribute the competition to helping them stay focused on their farm ownership goal.

"The competition has meant that we've really had to critique our operation and work on our weaknesses. It has really helped us improve our sharemilking business," the Collis', of Poroutawhao, north of Levin, say.

The four time participants won the Manawatu Rangitikei regional prize, as well as the Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc Leadership Award, taking home prizes worth $10,500 from the awards evening at the Manawatu Convention Centre in Palmerston North last night.

"We entered the competition so we could benchmark ourselves against our peers. Placing third last year, we got some really positive and useful feedback. We were keen to enter once again to enable our business to be scrutinised from another view point," they say.

For the past eight years the Collis' have been 50:50 sharemilking, after 25% sharemilking for the previous five years. They run a 450 strong herd on a 205 hectare property owned by Bryan and Wendy Kilsby. They own 17.9 hectares, leased back to the farm and have three children.

They say that the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Competition, run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc, has allowed them to form a strong network of contacts in the industry.

"The competition has provided some great networking opportunities for us. It's really good to be able to meet some like minded business people and share ideas.

"It's has also helped us focus on our goal - farm ownership," they say.

They will now progress to the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year final in Auckland on May 3, where they will compete for a total prize pool worth more than $60,000.

ACC, Blue Wing Honda, Bank of New Zealand, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement, Ravensdown, Ecolab, RD1, Dairy InSight and Dexcel sponsor the competition.

James and Melanie King of Palmerston North placed second overall, while also winning three merit awards; the BNZ Financial Management award, the Dairy InSight First Time Entrant award, and the Ravensdown Pasture Management award.

Third place overall, David and Barbara Hands from Makerua also received the Ecolab Farm Dairy Environment award and the Massey Agriculture Best Stock Management award.

Other Merit Award Recipients:

- C-Dax Systems Ltd. Best Negotiable Order award - Ben and Nicky Allomes

- Naylor Lawrence and Associates Best Financial & Farm Records award - Brent and Heather Gennills

- LIC Best Herd Records award - Brent and Heather Gennills

- ACC Thinksafe Farm Safety award - Brent and Heather Gennills

- Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety award - Michael and Melissa Manley


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