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Enter the Dairy Industry Awards

Media release
30 November 2006


“Enter the Dairy Industry Awards!”

If you can hear the sound of lowing on the wind…it could be a Nor’ Wester. It’s been that kind of spring.

But more likely it’s the sound of parochial cows willing their carers to show why they should be judged as a future industry leader.

Farm managers and sharemilkers have just until December 20 to show their cows they were right to put their faith in them by entering the first New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards. Dairy trainees need to put their hat in the ring by January 31.

“The special relationship between dairy cows and the people who ensure their health and well-being, the condition and hygiene of their environment, the quality of the pasture they graze; and the safety of the environment in which they work are just some of the criteria on which award winners are chosen,” says NZ Dairy Industry Awards management committee chairperson and former New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Alison Watters.

Production levels and other such measures are obviously important, but Alison says there are other important qualities that set the winners apart, such as staff relationships, communication with the farm owner, and involvement in the community.

“Winners of Dairy Industry Awards are the kinds of people who excel in many areas. They are not only extremely capable in themselves, but are prepared to ask questions, to learn from others, to grow personally and professionally and to share what they have learned.

“The experience of entering the Dairy industry Awards – be it as dairy trainee, farm manager or sharemilker – can make a huge difference to a dairy industry career,” Alison says.

The winners of last year’s Auckland/Hauraki Sharemilker of the Year title, Richard and Amanda Jones, said when they entered they didn’t know how to run a business. “We decided to learn from the best and we have improved because the feedback from the competition has been invaluable. And we have made some great friends.”

Alison says this kind of comment is typical.

“We are committed to making this first combined competition something that will make all of New Zealand sit up and look at the New Zealand Dairy Industry and say, ‘wow, I’d like to be part of that’.”

She says the three tiers of the Awards programme show a clear progression through the industry for those who set themselves goals and who work to achieve them.

Entries for the Dairy Industry Awards are in three initial categories: Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year. A national lifetime achievement award will also be presented each year to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the dairy industry.

Times lines for all the regional awards are posted on the Dairy Industry Awards website: . This also includes detailed information about the three competitions along with downloadable entry forms and links to sponsors.

“The entry process is quick and easy – we know how busy top performing dairy personnel are,” Alison says. “But the rewards of taking the time to put your name forward, the benefits to be gained from examining your business from an external point of view, feedback from the judging process and the learning from other people in the industry make that small effort so very worthwhile.”

Confirmed sponsors are Westpac, Dairy InSight, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown, Federated Farmers, RD1, Ecolab, Honda and ACC, along with industry partner Dexcel.


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