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Best Farm Forward In Dairy Awards

8 December 2008

Best Farm Forward In Dairy Awards

Having their sharemilkers enter the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition provided a number of positive spin-offs for farm owners Andy Palmer and Sharon Collett - most notably the farm never looked so good!

"I saw the sharemilkers physically putting in a lot of effort to do jobs that perhaps may not have otherwise got done or that would have got done eventually. With the competition they all got done at once."

The Palmer's property is close to Fonterra's Clandeboye factory in South Canterbury and was run by 50% sharemilkers Paul Mercer and Desiree Reid last season. The couple entered the 2008 Canterbury Sharemilker of the Year competition, winning, and placing third in the New Zealand final.

Mr Palmer says he was happy to support Paul and Desiree's entry in the competition, signing forms and being available to meet judges.

"The whole experience was 100% positive. It was also motivating. I got out and did stuff that perhaps I had been dragging the chain on.

"It was also evident to me that a lot of the paperwork and documentation that's required nowadays in complying with resource consents and other things were up to date and staff were well briefed. It was great."

He says Paul and Desiree put considerable effort into their entry and he witnessed them grow in confidence and in the realisation that they were doing a good job.

"All the finalists got so much out of it, even just positive affirmation that what they are doing is in the right direction and if there were some areas where they could improve they were given positive feedback from the judges to assist them."

Mr Palmer plans to encourage his new sharemilkers to enter the competition at some stage. "I will encourage them to enter these awards as it's exciting to see the benefits that they will get out of it and it's great for the farm."

Entries are now being accepted in the 2009 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, incorporating the Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

The awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, Honda, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

Further information on the Awards, including entry forms, can be obtained by visiting


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