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Every Sharemilker And His Dog Should Be There

14 May 2001

The Sharemilker of the Year Final
Saturday 19 May 2001
Wairakei Resort and Conference Centre
Regional winners/finalists below

The regional finals of the Sharemilker of the Year are over. "Competition was fierce and exciting, yet winning is not 'the be all and end all' for every competitor," Mark Keaney, from the Sharemilker of the Year executive said.

"In fact win or lose, the competitors frequently comment on the advantages that participation in the competition gives them in terms of their sharemilking skills and knowledge. This can be seen from the number of people who keep returning to the competition, year after year," Mark said.

This year's final is being held on the 19 May in the very central location of Taupo at the Wairakei Resort and Conference centre.

National Convenor Donna Keaney says the gala night will be a spectacular event that should not to be missed. Special guests include Russell Harrison from Lotto (who will also provide some entertainment). Also attending are John Roadley (Chairman designate of GlobalCo), Damian O'Connor MP (Chair of Primary Produce Select Committee) and Alistair Polson (President of Federated Farmers)

Media personality Phillip Leishman will again be the MC - his sixth year in the role. The audience can expect entertainment galore during the show. Regional Winners The nine couples who won their respective regional competitions are listed below. They will be vying for the very prestigious national title and prizes from a national prize pool worth $57,000, including a $14,000 four-wheel bike from Blue Wing Honda.

Bay of Plenty Dean and Sharyn Petersen who are in their third season of milking 470 cows on 160 hectares owned by Robin and Heather Wray. This is the couple's second 50:50 contract having already had a three-year contract in Ngakuru.

Taranaki Damien and Jane Roper milk 500 cows on 180ha in Waverley. This is their first year on Graham and Dianne Lance's farm having previously been on a 50:50 contract milking 450 cows. This is their fifth year of entering the competition and they keep coming back in order to meet likeminded sharemilkers, increase their skills and knowledge, and to bench mark their business.

Hawkes Bay/ Wairarapa Bevan and Tracey Brown milk 267 cows on 102ha. They do so on a Pahiatua farm owned by Tony O'Brien and Shawn Steminger. Until three years ago the couple were farm workers and this is their first 50:50 position. It is the second time they have entered the competition and they do so in order to benchmark their performance, increase their network of successful farmers and to focus and fine tune their business skills.

Southland Shane and Annette Rimmer have been twelve years in the industry, having started off as contract milkers. They now milk 695 cows on a 225ha farm owned by Neville and Jane Hilton in Gore. In 1994 they won the best Variable Order award and were Waikato area finalists in 1998. They say it is the challenge that keeps bringing them back.

Manawatu/Rangitikei Campbell and Rachel Irons milk 143 cows on fifty ha owned by the Telford estate. They were contract milkers from 1995 until 1999 and are now in their second season of being 50:50 contractors. They entered the competition to have their business scrutinised by experts and to learn from the expert's comments. They also wanted to compare themselves with their sharemilking peers.

Otago Craig and Helen Elliot milk 800 cows on 254 hectares owned by Ross and Stephanie Roy in Clydevale. This is their first 50:50 contract although they bring variable order experiences to the job. They have entered the competition to share their experiences with other sharemilkers, and to have their business analysed.

Auckland/North Waikato Tony and Carla Fleming from Ngatea are in their third year of 50:50 sharemilking after starting off as variable order sharemilkers. They currently milk 1650 cows on 509 hectares owned by Landcorp Ltd. They entered the competition to better their business and to prove to their staff that anything is possible with hard working and planning.

West Coast/Top of the South Bevan and Caroline Langford milk 174 cows on a 65 hectare farm owned by Caroline's parents (Peter and Rosalie Sampson) in Karamea. At the end of this year the Langfords will achieve their goal of purchasing the farm.

Waikato Dave and Julie Davis milk 335 cows on 98 very effective hectares at June Slattery's farm at Matamata. In their seven years of 50:50 sharemilking they have entered this competition five times. They keep returning to the competition as it adds value to their business by analysing all aspects of their farming operation and it brings them into contact with other sharemilkers who focus on excellence.


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