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Pahiatua Sharemilkers Take Out Title

Pahiatua Sharemilkers Take Out Title

Pahiatua sharemilkers David and Janine Swansson have been declared 2005 Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa Sharemilker of the Year at an awards function in the Pahiatua Town Hall tonight.

It was the perfect way for the couple to wind up their sharemilking days as from next season they will be running their own property.

David and Janine currently farm at Marima near Pahiatua where they milk 260 cows on 93 hectares. The property is owned by Russell and Anne Hughes.

This was not the first time the Swanssons have entered the competition and they commented on its value in terms of benchmarking their skills, standards and performance.

“The competition has provided an excellent motivation for us to do better and has helped us identify our weak points as well as our strengths,” David Swansson says. “We have always benefited from discussing our farm business, and the standard of our presentation after the judging round.”

The couple appreciated the opportunity to mix with positive and motivated like-minded people during the competition.

The Swanssons also won the Livestock Improvement Livestock Management Award, the ACC Thinksafe Sharemilker Award, the Bank of New Zealand Financial Management Award and the Federated Farmers Leadership Award.

The Swanssons will now represent the region at the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Awards in Hamilton on May 7, competing for a national prize pool of $63,000.

Runners up in the event were David and Jacqueline Hawkins from Dannevirke with third place going to Woodville sharemilkers Mark Wood and Gretchen Percy.

The 2005 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Competition is run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) and is sponsored by Dairy InSight, ACC, Bank of New Zealand, Blue Wing Honda, Dexcel, Ecolab, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement and Ravensdown.

Regional convenors Alison and Andrew Watters, who won the regional title and went on to win the national title in 2003, congratulated all the entrants on taking part.

“Having been involved ourselves we know they will have benefited from the experience. We wish them all well and will be cheering on the Swanssons in Hamilton in May,” Andrew Watters says.

Other results were:

Best Variable Order Sharemilker: Chris Sutton and Dana Orr (Pahiatua)

Livestock Management: Chris Sutton and Dana Orr

Dairy Insight First Time Entrant Award: Mark Wood and Gretchen Percy (Woodville)

Ecolab Farm Dairy Environment Award: Mark Wood and Gretchen Percy

Ravensdown Pasture Management Award: David and Jacqueline Hawkins (Dannevirke)

Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety Award: Mark Wood and Gretchen Percy

Farm Owners’ Prize: Russell and Anne Hughes

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