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Countdown for Champion Sharemilkers

Media release
8 May 2006

For immediate release

Countdown for Champion Sharemilkers

New Zealand will soon know the identity of the 2006 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year.

A team of three judges is currently on the road visiting each of the 12 regional finalists on their farms. However, the final decision on who will be crowned this country’s elite sharemilker will not be made until all finalists go through a rigorous interview session in Christchurch on May 13.

“The on-farm judging is, of course, extremely important – analysing each entrant’s strengths in areas such as pasture production, animal welfare, business and farm safety,” says this year’s chief judge, Bank of New Zealand agribusiness manager Peter Gunn.

“But the winner of the competition is expected to be an ambassador for the industry. It’s therefore important that the Sharemilker of the Year is a good communicator and can represent all sharemilkers.”

Tickets are selling fast for the awards dinner on May 13 that will be attended by more than 400 of the dairy industry's key figures – including Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden and Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

Also attending will be representatives from all the event’s sponsors: ACC, Bank of New Zealand, Blue Wing Honda, Dairy InSight, Dexcel, Ecolab, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement and Ravensdown.

But all eyes will be on the finalists and on master of ceremonies Bull Allen as he opens the envelope to reveal the new title holder.

“It’s a magical moment,” says management committee chairman, Alison Watters, who, with husband Andrew, won the national title in 2003.

The finalists are competing for a prize pool of more than $65,000, including a $16,000 Honda TRX 500 FA all terrain vehicle.

The New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year has run nationally for the past 17 years.

The 12 finalists are:

Rangitata Island sharemilkers Kieran and Leonie Guiney

Ruawai sharemilker Paddy and Teri Gordon

Matamata sharemilkers Peter and Vanessa Wilcox

Bay of Plenty
Te Puke sharemilkers Jacob and Sheree Horton

Central Plateau
Reporoa sharemilkers Kyle and Madelein Brennan

Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa
Woodville sharemilkers Mark Wood and Gretchen Percy

Shannon sharemilkers Dave and Barbara Hands

Otahuti sharemilkers Wayne and Elaine Cook

Rahotu sharemilkers Craig and Lucy Bradley

Top of the South/West Coast
Barrytown sharemilkers Colin and Jody Cudmore

Huntly sharemilkers Richard and Amanda Jones

Taieri sharemilker Geoffrey Wilson


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