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Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards

New Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards Structure Gives National Focus

The Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards have a new national focus for the Farm Business section aimed at further encouraging the growth and development of New Zealand’s top dairy farmers into industry leaders and ambassadors.

The fifth Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards were launched in Auckland today with changes to the Farm Business Section taking it from a regional to a national focus.

Farm business owners across the country will this year be interviewed at a national level for six international travel scholarships in an effort to continue building on the quality of entries and benchmark the best of the best. Previous competitions were based on Regional Winners going forward to a national final but the new format is targeted at identifying the best six farm businesses nationally, regardless of the region they come from.

The competition’s National Manager Barbara Kuriger said the change to nominations for scholarships on a national basis was made to encourage the best of the best to go forward for the scholarships.

“The scholarships have been hugely successful in the past but we have had some feedback that with only one regional winner going forward into the final, other top farm businesses in that particular region may have been discouraged from entering. This new system will ensure we get all the best people in the mix and we are seeking nominations rather than entries to overcome the reticence some leading farmers have about entering in competitions.”

Meanwhile, the growing Farm Manager category will receive more emphasis at regional level to encourage more entries from young talent and encourage them to take the steps leading to farm ownership. This young talent will be given the opportunity to mix with leading farmers and develop the skills they need to excel in the industry. One National Farm Manager of the Year will be named at the national dinner.

This year will also see the introduction of a national conference where entrants, past winners, sponsors and industry professionals will come together to share knowledge, network and exchange ideas. This year’s awards are proudly sponsored by DTS, Livestock Improvement, Mazda, RD1, Ravensdown, Telecom, and supported by industry partner Dexcel.

Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Heyden says the new structure supports the company’s vision to lead in dairy by fostering the growth of suppliers and exposing them to the cream of the crop.

“These awards bring suppliers together in an environment where they can learn from one another, develop their skills and analyse their own on-farm practices based on benchmarks established by our top performers.

“In our pursuit of excellence, the awards play a key role in stimulating debate and discussion and giving our suppliers the chance to challenge themselves to aim for the top. It’s all about encouraging the growth and development of our future industry leaders, ambassadors and mentors.”

Westpac's Head of Agribusiness Karen Silk says Westpac is well known for working collaboratively with the dairy industry sector helping farmers to maximise opportunities. Westpac’s support for the Awards is part of that collaborative approach.


"Being a farmer in today's increasingly complex environment is no easy task. To succeed, farmers must be savvy, smart business professionals with a keen understanding of return on investment and national and international economic trends.


”Westpac has supported the Dairy Excellence Awards (and its predecessors) since their inception. We see this as a key sponsorship for our business. Supporting dairy excellence benefits the agriculture sector, our economy, our communities and New Zealand as a whole."

The Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards recognise, promote and celebrate excellence in eight categories of dairy farming and dairy farm management. This year’s categories are:

New Zealand Lifetime Achievement Award

Farm Business Travel Scholarships (6)

Farm Manager Overall Winner

Farm Manager Performance Awards:

Goal Setting & Communication

Financial Planning & Management

Human Wealth

Farm Systems & Productivity

Quality Management & Environmental Awareness

The six Farm Business travel scholarship winners will take part in an international study tour of South America – a key region of dairy industry growth and significant Fonterra activity. Regional winners of the Farm Manager award will embark on a national study tour around selected Fonterra sites, offering some insights into business planning, personal development and mentoring and motivational opportunities.

For information about the Awards and how to enter, Fonterra suppliers should contact their local Field Representative or visit http://www.dairyexcellence.co.nz.

- Ends -

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