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Rabobank puts support behind iconic industry event

Ewe Hogget Competition forum for feedback -
Rabobank puts support behind iconic industry event

Farmers have been urged to submit their entries to the New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition by one of the event’s sponsors, leading agribusiness bank Rabobank.

Now in its twelfth year, the competition provides farmers with the opportunity to benchmark their flocks at both local and national level, also allowing them to compare farming methods and learn from other competitors.

Rabobank regional manager, Todd Charteris says that New Zealand’s meat sector is currently faced with both challenges and opportunities, amidst a backdrop of dynamic agricultural conditions.

“The New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition plays an important role in recognising the excellent performance and production methods of New Zealand farmers,” Mr Charteris said. “Rabobank is proud of the long-term view it takes when it comes to the cyclical nature of agriculture and this event allows the bank to support local farmers, many of whom have recently experienced dry conditions.”

Mr Charteris said Rabobank’s support of the New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition was part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to the New Zealand rural sector.

Culminating in a field day held on the winner’s property, showcasing the farm and the winning livestock, this year’s New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition has a prize winners’ package of $10,000. There are also prizes for the six finalists and 18 semi-finalists. The six breed finalists will be invited to the winner’s field day, where they will receive accommodation and join the event sponsors for dinner on the night.

Ian and Karen Pullar, from Pukerau, near Gore won the New Zealand Ewe Hogget competition last year and say the feedback from judges and their peers was invaluable.

“We had a very solid year last year, with good rain and plenty of clover, but many other farmers in the district experienced the same conditions and had good ewe hoggets, they just didn’t enter,” Mr Pullar said. “We would certainly encourage people to enter the competition this year, just the feedback from the judging process has helped us achieve better results this year,” he added.

Adrian and Kim Arnold, from north of Napier, won the unique competition in 2005. “We felt it was a great opportunity to put our stock forward into a competition that is of a non-threatening nature because the judging is done within your own environment and comfort zone,” says Mr Arnold. Mr Arnold added that many potential hill country entrants may be put off from entering because they think their hoggets, which are reared on native based grasses, would not compare size-wise with hoggets grown out on cultivated English pasture. The criteria in judging relate to the flock’s achievements and the ewe hoggets’ productive potential over their lifetime, with land type, climate etc taken into consideration.

Mr Arnold went on to assist with the competition judging in 2006 and 2007, which he says he enjoyed immensely. “It is an opportunity to gain further knowledge and assess all breed types in a career I am passionate about,” he said.

Entries need to be submitted by the end of March, as judging for the competition gets underway shortly afterwards. Rabobank will be actively participating on the judging panel and at the field day event.

To be eligible to enter, farmers must have 80 per cent of their replacements from their ewe hoggets, with a minimum flock of 250. The hoggets must only show milk teeth and can be either woolly or shorn. All breeders of flock hoggets from commercial sheep are also eligible to enter.

Rabobank will continue to support the New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition, Mr Charteris said. “Rewarding excellence, recognising best practice and honouring top operators in the field is something that Rabobank is pleased to be associated with.”

Entries close 31 March 2008
For further information or an entry form, please contact Convenors:
National : George Fletcher, ph/fax 03 204 2052
North Island : Daryl Hart, ph 06 378 9747, fax 06 378 9748
New Zealand Sheep Breeders’ Association: Greg Burgess, ph 03 358 9412, fax 03 358 9402 email

Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s
leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 100
years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses
involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank has a AAA credit rating
and is rated one of the world’s safest bank by Global Finance magazine. Rabobank
operates in 42 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients
worldwide through a network of more than 1500 offices and branches. Rabobank is
one of New Zealand’s leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and
corporate banking and financial services to the country’s food and agribusiness
sector. The bank has 29 branches throughout New Zealand.

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