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Dipton Sharemilkers Takes Out Title

Dipton Sharemilkers Takes Out Title

Dipton sharemilkers Chris (37) and Charleen (36) Withy have been declared 2005 Southland Sharemilkers of the Year at an awards function in Invercargill tonight.

The Withys are 50:50 sharemilkers, milking 630 cows on 216 hectares owned by Owen and Margaret Westlake. Their anticipated production for the season is 273,000kg/ms.

It was the couple’s second attempt at the title. They say taking part in the awards has helped them develop their profile in terms of attracting future employers as well as giving them a more in depth understanding of their business and an opportunity to meet people in the dairy industry.

Both Chris and Charleen were brought up on dairy farms. They spent five year in the dairy industry in Edgecumbe before taking on the Southland position four years ago.

The Withys attribute their business strength to an ability to reduce debt quickly through ensuring they have strong cash flow. They have a strong focus on performance, and intend to keep their core business in the dairy industry, enabling them to investigate off-farm investments.

The Withys also won the Bank of New Zealand Financial Management Award and the Federated Farmers' Leadership Award.

Chris and Charleen will now represent Southland at the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Awards in Hamilton on May 7, competing for a national prize pool of $63,000.

Runners up in the event were Wayne and Elaine Cook from Otahuti, with third place to Mike and Daina Tuffin from Tussock Creek.

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

Regional convenors Matthew and Vanessa Richards congratulated all entrants on taking part.

“Having been involved ourselves we know they will have benefited from the experience. We wish them all well and will be cheering on Chris and Charleen in Hamilton in May,” Vanessa Richards says.

A field day will be held on the winner’s farm at 884 South Hillend, Dipton Road on April 12.

Other results were:

• Terry Bently Best Livestock Award: Brent and Andrea Hayston (Morton Mains)

• Karen Vreugdenhil Career Blended Lifestyle Award: Wayne and Elaine Cook (Otahuti)

• Swains Best Variable Order: John van Vliet and Lucy Hodge (Balfour)

• McIntyre Dick and Partners Business Management Future Aims Award: Mike and Daina Tuffin (Tussock Creek)

• Southland Farm services Encouragement Award: Simon and Claire Light (Otahuti)

• AWS Legal Property Presentation Award: David and Susan Loveridge

• Dairy Insight First Time Entrant Award: Wayne and Elaine Cook (Otahuti)

• Livestock Improvement Best Herd Records Award: David and Susan Loveridge (Aparima Otautau)

• Ecolab Farm Dairy Environment Award: David and Susan Loveridge

• Ravensdown Pasture Management Award: Simon and Claire Light (Otahuti)

• ACCThinksafe Farm Safety Award: Phil and Shelley Kreiger (Glenham)

• Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety Award: Karl Montgomerie and Nikki Christiansen (Centre Bush)

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