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Share Farmer Contest Heralds New Era

17 August 2015

Share Farmer Contest Heralds New Era

The 2016 Share Farmer of the Year competition has big boots to fill – taking over from the highly regarded sharemilker competition.

New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Executive Chair Gavin Roden says the Share Farmer of the Year is a hybrid of the sharemilker competition, with changes that better position it within the dairy industry’s evolving farm ownership and employment structures.

“We think the changes will make the contest better and enable more people to enter and gain the benefits from entering.

“The sharemilker competition has a special history and aura about it due to its 26-year longevity, the thousands that have entered over the years and how it has helped people take the next step in their farming careers.”

Mr Roden says the number of sharemilking positions is falling as dairy farm ownership and employment structures evolve. This is creating new opportunities for people in the industry to progress through other employment structures, such as equity partnerships, leasing or contract milking.

“With the Share Farmer contest, and all the changes we have made to the 2016 awards programme, we have tried to ensure that those in similar positions, doing similar work and with similar responsibilities will have an opportunity to participate and gain the benefits from entering one of our competitions.”

He says the Share Farmer of the Year competition will be open to all those that are self-employed on a dairy farm and who are responsible for all aspects of the farm business. They can own up to 50% of that farming business.

It means contract milkers – whose income is received on an agreed cents per kilogram of milksolids produced – are eligible to enter. Percentage sharemilkers, equity farmers and lessees are also eligible.

Regional winners of the previous farm manager contest (which may include some contract milkers) are eligible to enter the Share Farmer of the Year competition, but regional winners of previous sharemilker or sharemilker/equity farmer contests are ineligible.

The judging process remains the same, with contest judges spending two hours on each entrant’s farm looking at how the entrant manages their finances and farm business, pasture, livestock, farm environment, staff, farm safety and health, and dairy hygiene. They will also consider how they maximise the property, their role in the community and communication skills.

Entries in the 2016 Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions open on October 20. More information is available at

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, New Zealand Farm Source, and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.


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