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Experienced Team For Dairy Awards

Experienced Team For Dairy Awards

The inaugural New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards benefit from a highly experienced management team along with committed and extremely competent regional convenors.

Bringing together three existing events – the Dairy Trainee of the Year Awards, the Westpac Fonterra Dairy Excellence Awards and the Sharemilker of the Year Awards – is a challenging exercise, says National Convenor Chris Keeping.

“But with the combined expertise of some of the most respected people in the dairy industry, the awards are shaping up to be an enormously professional series of events that will showcase the top performers in the industry and demonstrate the career opportunities that are available within it,” Ms Keeping says.

Entries for the Dairy Industry Awards opened this month in three initial categories: Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year. A national lifetime achievement award will also be presented each year to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the dairy industry.

Times lines for all the regional awards are posted on the Dairy Industry Awards website: www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz . This also includes detailed information about the three competitions under the DIA umbrella along with entry forms and links to sponsors.

Confirmed sponsors are Westpac, Dairy InSight, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy Ravensdown, Federated Farmers, RD1, Ecolab, Honda and ACC, along with industry partner Dexcel.

Chairing the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards management committee is a former New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year, Alison Watters.

Her committee includes two other former national Sharemilker title holders – Leo van den Beuken from Canterbury and Julie Davis (Waikato); two national runners up, Greg Maughan (Manawatu/Rangitikei) and Damian Roper (Taranaki) along with other high performers in past events.

The committee also benefits from the vast experience of Taranaki’s Barbara Kuriger who has been deeply involved in dairy industry activities since she and husband Louis won the Taranaki Sharemilker of the Year title in 1987.

Winner of a Kellogg study award in 2001, Barbara has been a key contributor to the Dairy Excellence Awards since their inception five years ago, acting as project manager for last year’s awards.

The cast of regional convenors is equally stellar, with former New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year Hugh Candy leading the team in Waikato and Kathryn van den Beuken in Canterbury.

“The convenors in all regions are people who have participated in past competitions and who benefited so much from the experience they really want to put something back,” Ms Keeping says. “They all share in the excitement of being part of a new entity from its beginnings.”

The strength of the competition in its volunteer base is the real personal commitment of the people involved, Ms Keeping says.

“The convenors work with teams of enthusiastic supporters, including representatives of sponsors who add value to their financial commitment by ensuring their own people are involved on a practical level as well.

“This means they have a true understanding of the philosophy of the Dairy Industry Awards – recognising and rewarding excellence in one of New Zealand’s most vital sectors.”

The awards are running in 12 regions. The winning Dairy Trainees in each region will win a study trip to Australia. The winning Farm Manager and Sharemilker of the Year will go on to compete for a national title to be contested in Invercargill on May 12.

Ends

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