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Entries Overwhelm Sharemilker Competition Organis

10 January 2006

Entries Overwhelm Sharemilker Competition Organisers

Organisers of the 2006 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year awards are “thrilled and overwhelmed” by the record number of entries in this year’s event.

The 152 entries are more than those received in the past six years which organisers point out is all the more remarkable since they are representatives of one specific industry segment. With 12 regional competitions confirmed for the first time in several years, chairman of the management committee, Alison Watters, says there is no doubt it’s going to be a great event.

“Sharemilkers up and down the country will keenly contest their local event for the honour of representing their region at the national finals,” said Mrs Watters who is a former national title holder.

There were a number of changes to this year’s competition, including giving contract milkers the chance to take part. However Mrs Watters believes the record result is attributable in large part to the spirit and commitment of volunteers who give their time to ensure the professionalism of the event as well as the benefits entrants gain from the experience.

“Unlike many other rural events, apart from one paid administrator, the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year awards are entirely organised and managed by volunteer convenors and their committees.

“The vast majority of these people have themselves been entrants in the past and, despite the fact that many of them have demanding farm businesses to run, and family and community commitments, they are prepared to give their time to enable other sharemilkers to benefit from the opportunities they have received,” said Mrs Watters.

With increased competition for sharemilking positions, success in the Sharemilker of the Year is public recognition of entrants’ achievements and abilities. In addition, Sharemilker of the Year is increasingly being seen as an important educational learning curve for sharemilkers, with educational evenings organised for entrants leading up to the judging.

“The material rewards of taking on the Sharemilker of the Year challenge are certainly significant. But maybe even more valuable is the edge successful sharemilkers gain and the chance to learn and improve their performance in all areas of their business,” commented Mrs Watters.

The competition’s supporters are also delighted by the record result. The 2006 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.

The results of the 12 regional events will be decided during March and April with winners competing for the national final in Christchurch on May 13, 2006.


Breakdown of entries by region follows:

Auckland/Hauraki 7
Bay of Plenty 11
Canterbury 17
Central Plateau 14
Hawkes Bay 14
Manawatu 10
Otago 16
Southland 14
Taranaki 18
Top of the North 8
Waikato 13
West Coast 10

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