Hot contest for dairy awards spurred on by record prize pool
The region’s top dairy farmers will be revealed this Friday as they compete for a coveted spot in the national final and a share of the record $710,000 prize pool.
Several hundred people are expected at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Taranaki dinner at The Hub in Hawera where winners of three categories will be announced: Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year.
The winners of each category will join entrants from 10 other regions around the country vying for the national titles to be announced in Auckland on May 9.
Bayleys Taranaki is a key sponsor of the regional New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards for the third consecutive year.
Bayleys Taranaki country sales manager Mark Monckton is a long-time farmer himself and has lived in the region for six years.
“From our perspective it is about supporting the rural community and the young dairy farmers coming through,” Mr Monckton said.
Awards co-ordinators are impressed with the high caliber of the 51 Taranaki entrants.
Each year the Bayleys team looks forward to seeing who comes out on top at a regional level and Mr Monckton said they are especially excited about the dairy trainees.
“It is a great achievement for them to promote on their CVs. Once they start looking to managerial and share milking roles, employers are after people that are willing to learn and involvement in this certainly demonstrates that,” he said.
“It also exposes them to the entire region and the rest of the country if they qualify for the finals, which is invaluable for their careers.”
The field-days hosted by category winners are also a highlight, Mr Monckton said.
“They are always well supported with around 300 people attending each year and it really encourages others to give it a go.”
This year is the 25th anniversary of the awards and has seen a record 572 entrants across the 11 regions.
The announcement of the largest ever awards prize pool of $710,000 in cash and farming equipment has generated fierce competition across the categories.