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Sharemilkers Prepared To "Give It A Go"

13 January 2005

Sharemilkers Prepared To "Give It A Go"

Organisers of the 2005 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year awards are delighted that almost 70 percent of entries in this year's event are from first time entrants.

More than 130 entries have been received this year - well over last year's numbers - which organisers put down to a number of factors including a simplified entry form. The one disappointment is the cancellation of the Otago competition for 2005.

Chairman of the competition's national management committee, Damian Roper says in order to maintain the event's integrity; the competition's constitution requires a minimum number of entries in each region.

"Compared with other regions, Otago has a smaller pool of sharemilkers and this, combined with a tough year on farm, has meant that the threshold was not reached."

However, this setback has been offset by the number of first time entrants, bringing fresh enthusiasm and new ideas to the event, Mr Roper says.

"New entrants need a special kind of courage to put their hat in the ring but they won't be sorry. We have always promoted how much sharemilkers learn from the experience and how they grow each year they enter. While some entrants win their regional competition on the first try, it is more often those who have entered a number of times, gaining skills and self-assurance from the experience, who eventually win the title," Mr Roper says.

"Some newer sharemilkers in the past may have been reluctant to enter because they don't think they have a chance, but this isn't true. I am confident that those who have give it a go this year won't regret their decision."

A survey into attitudes towards entering the Sharemilker of the Year competition identified the opportunity to network with like-minded sharemilkers as one of the greatest attractions of the competition. Other key reasons included the incentive for goal setting and the credibility it gave to applicants when applying for sharemilking positions.

"Clearly previous participants have been talking about these benefits and have encouraged others to give it a go," Mr Roper says. "2005 is going to be a great competition."

The 2005 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Competition is run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) and is sponsored by Dairy InSight, ACC, Bank of New Zealand, Blue Wing Honda, Dexcel, Ecolab, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement and Ravensdown.

ENDS

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