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Competition Expands To Contract Milkers

14 October 2005

Competition Expands To Contract Milkers

Entries are now open in one of New Zealand's longest running and successful rural events - the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year.

And, for the first time, contract milkers will be eligible to enter the competition

Competition chairperson Alison Watters says the organising committee voted to allow contract milkers to join the competition for a number of reasons, including ensuring the event continues to grow.

"By widening the eligibility in the dairy industry, we have the opportunity to increase the numbers of people taking part in the regions. With more entrants we have a wider range of contacts and therefore more people will be talking about Sharemilker of the Year."

She says most contract milkers eventually become sharemilkers and it's a good opportunity for them to meet, mix and learn from the best of the breed.

Contract milkers are also eligible to win any merit award as well as third or second place, but cannot win first place in a region.

"All regional Sharemilkers of the Year must be actual sharemilkers. The regional winners go on to represent their region at the national awards. We couldn't have a New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year who was, in fact, not a sharemilker."

However, the inclusion of contract milkers at a regional level also recognises the changing face of sharemilking, and the ways in which goal-setting, hard-working people can progress through the industry.

"There is increased competition for sharemilking positions," Mrs Watters 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 $12,000, 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 and contract milkers will have in a highly competitive job market.

The 2006 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.

Sharemilkers first enter one of 12 regional competitions throughout the country. The regional winners then progress to the national final in Christchurch on May 6, 2006 where they compete for the national title of New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year.

Competition entries close on December 20, 2005.

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, or can be downloaded from www.fedfarm.org.nz/smoty .

ENDS


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