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Mazda Joins The Drive To Dairy Excellence

17 November 2004

Mazda Joins The Drive To Dairy Excellence

Mazda New Zealand is bringing some extra zoom to the Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence awards, joining the team of sponsors in search of New Zealand's top dairy farmers.

As the competition gains momentum, Mazda have confirmed their support by sponsoring the Lifetime Achievement Award and providing a brand new Mazda Bounty for the National Farm Business of the Year winner.

Mazda managing director Peter Aitken says Mazda is pleased to support an industry that makes such a significant contribution to the New Zealand economy.

"At the same time it is an opportunity to reinforce the strong relationships Mazda has with rural communities through our regional dealerships.

"We are particularly proud to be sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award which recognises innovation and excellence, something which as a company we strongly believe in."

Nominations for the Mazda Lifetime Achievement are sought for those individuals who have shown significant commitment and contribution to the improvement of the dairy industry both regionally and nationally.

The award will be presented to individuals in the six competition regions and to a national winner at the finals, held in June 2005.

Fonterra Director and Awards Chairman, Jim van der Poel has welcomed Mazda on board saying their support completes a strong team of industry sponsors including Pioneer, Telecom, Ravensdown, Livestock Improvement, RD1, and DTS.

"All of our sponsors play a significant role in contributing to the success of the industry by providing knowledge, resources, education and guidance to our suppliers. They also contribute greatly to the success of this event through their support and expertise, and by providing further motivation and encouragement for our suppliers to strive to be the best."

The Mazda Lifetime Achievement Award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution across many industry areas through their vision and innovation.

"Fonterra places high importance on research and development because it enhances our business and brings advanced technologies and practices to our farmers. There are many illustrations of innovation taking place on farms and it is because of our innovative farmers that we are leaders in our field," says Jim.

Last year's national lifetime achievement winner was Mervyn Hicks, acknowledged for his invention of the rotary milking platform, an innovation that changed the face of the dairy industry. The year before, it was Dr Patrick Shannon, a Livestock Improvement scientist who researched and developed many of the major herd improvement programmes currently used by New Zealand farmers.

Entries for the Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards close on December 20. Visit www.dairyexcellenceawards.co.nz for further details.

ENDS

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