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Winning Sharemilkers Fine Tune Business

Winning Sharemilkers Fine Tune Business On Way To Award

New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year West Coast - Top of the South winners Chris and Paula Riddle are grateful of the opportunity the competition has given them to fine tune and improve their farm business.

The couple won the West Coast Top of the South regional prize, as well as the BNZ Financial Management and Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc Leadership merit awards - taking home prizes worth almost $8000 from the awards dinner in Shantytown last night.

"One of our reasons for entering was to learn more about our business so we could answer any question anyone could ever ask us about our business," the Riddles say.

"The competition also makes you focus on all aspects of your business, making it easier to identify how to improve your business."

The Riddles entered the competition in 2000, winning the Ravensdown Pasture Management merit award.

They run a 336 cow herd on 165 hectares at Taramakau where they have 50:50 sharemilked for Robb Farms Limited for three seasons. They have two children and previously sharemilked on Chris's family farm for three years.

The Riddle's say that the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Competition, run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc, has allowed them to gain a clearer picture of their business and meet industry contacts.

"It's great to get some positive feedback. The competition reminds you of the positive things that you are doing in the industry," they say.

The Riddles hope to increase their herd to 600 cows over the next two years, and aim to own their own farm in the future.

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 Gibson and Callie Beveridge of Buller were placed second, and also received the Livestock Improvement Best Herd Records, the ACC Thinksafe and the Lower Order Sharemilker merit awards. They won almost $4500 in total.

Third place went to Collin and Judy Cudmore, of Kowhiterangi, who also won the Ravensdown Pasture Management merit award and took home about $2500.

Other Merit Award Recipients:

Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety award - Bruce Karl

Dairy InSight First Time Entrant award - Darren and Penny McFetridge

Ecolab Farm Dairy Environment Award - Mark Pender

Young Stock Award - Allan Creswell

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