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Sharemilkers Thrown A Challenge

Sharemilkers Thrown A Challenge

More than 5000 sharemilkers in New Zealand have been issued a challenge:

to prove themselves worthy of the title 2005 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year.

Entries are now open in New Zealand’s longest running dairy farming competition.

Refinements since the last competition include a new style of entry form, designed to simplify the process of signing up.

Competition Chairman Damian Roper says “We know sharemilkers are busy and we recognise that filling in lots of paper is the last thing they need. It’s just one of a number of ways in which we are refining this competition, which is now in its 17th year in its nationwide format.”

New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year recognises and promotes excellence in sharemilking.

“The sharemilking industry has changed over recent years with increased competition for sharemilking positions,” Mr Roper says. “I believe this will mean an even more keenly contested event as people seek recognition of their achievements.

“With a national prize pool of nearly $70,000 and regional prize packages of more than $10,000, the material rewards of taking on the Sharemilker of the Year challenge are certainly significant. But maybe even more valuable is the edge successful sharemilkers will have in a highly competitive job market.

“Sharemilkers and their employers have told us over and over again that they gain so much from entering this competition.”

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.

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The sharemilking industry is unique to New Zealand and is a way that people can work towards farm ownership by building equity through owning herds. There are more than 5000 sharemilkers in New Zealand, harvesting more than 40% of the country’s milk production.

“Sharemilker of the Year has a proud history and is run by sharemilkers for sharemilkers. We are determined to ensure it continues to recognise excellence within sharemilking while helping to identify future dairy industry leaders,” says Mr Roper. Like many of the people who voluntarily give their time to run the competition, Mr Roper was a successful former contestant, winning the Taranaki regional title in 2001 with wife Jane and was runner up for the prestigious national title.

Sharemilkers first enter one of 11 regional competitions throughout the country. The regional winners then progress to the national final held in Hamilton on May 7, 2005 where they compete for the national title of New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year.

Competition entries close on December 20, 2004. This is earlier than usual, says Mr Roper. “The change was made to tighten up the entry process. The longer application forms lie around the more likely they are to be forgotten. With the simpler entry form and the shorter ‘entries open’ period, sharemilkers can sort out their entry and not have to worry about it over the Christmas break.”

Entry forms will be included in the November issue of Fonterra’s Farmlink magazine and will be sent to Westland and Tatua dairy company suppliers. Entry forms are also available from Federated Farmers PH 0800 327 646, by contacting the regional convenors and sponsor representatives or can be downloaded from www.fedfarm.org.nz/smoty

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