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Meeting People Best Bit of Dairy Awards

For Immediate Release

6 December 2012

Meeting People Best Bit of Dairy Awards

The 2012 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year, Mick O’Connor, says the hardest part about the dairy industry awards is actually entering.

“Once you have done that, there’s no looking back.”

Mr O’Connor, who is contract milking 940 cows at Dunsandel for Dairy Holdings, says the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards is great.

“We entered for a number of reasons, but mainly to see where our business was at and where improvement was needed.

“It wasn’t about winning. It was more about meeting other like-minded people that were pushing themselves and getting ourselves outside our comfort zone.”

Entries are now being accepted in the 2013 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions. Entries are being received online at and close on December 20.

The Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner AgITO.

Mr O’Connor says he and wife, Kirsten Wyatt, a personal banker, put 100% into their entry.

“If we had never entered we would never have gained anything. The prizes are really good, but the most important thing we gained is the people contact and contacts for the future.

“The people that judged us are top people in the field, so we got a free analysis of our business. The result of that is that we are more aware of our business as a whole from the farm back to the finances, and linking them together.”

He says the dairy awards cater for people choosing any of the variety of career pathways now available to progress in dairy farming, including equity farm managers, contract milkers, sharemilkers, managers and trainees.

Entering the awards had also helped the couple personally. “Kirsten isn’t involved in the day-to-day running of the dairy farm, but entering had helped her understand what I do and the processes involved in dairy farming.

“I strongly encourage farmers to enter as there is so much to gain from the experience. Back yourself and have a go,” Mr O’Connor says.


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