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Young Men Line Up In Dairy Trainee Final

Young Men Line Up In Dairy Trainee Final

The 12 finalists in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competition will meet in Canterbury next week to take part in a study tour around the region.

Aged from 23 years to 28 years, the study tour is designed to increase the trainee’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the dairy industry and demonstrate what opportunities are available as they progress.

The 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will announce winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year as well as the trainee contest in Wellington on May 24. More than $150,000 in prizes will be given away.

National convenor Chris Keeping says the study tour will take trainees on farm visits, including to a robotic farm and the farm of 2011 Canterbury/North Otago Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Rob and Debbie Mackle. A range of guest speakers will discuss the different pathways available to progress in the industry as well as the growth of dairying in Canterbury and the impact of irrigation.

During the tour, which begins on Monday , the trainees will also participate in practical judging competitions and team building exercises. An interview, to be conducted once the trainees arrive in Wellington, is the final component of the judging – as the trainees have already produced DVDs.   

For the first time since the inaugural New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competition, there are no females among the regional finalists.

“We’re a little shocked by the result, as the girls have done so well in the past few years and the number of female entries was good.”

Mrs Keeping says three females competed in the 2012 final, with four competing in 2011 and two females in both 2010 and 2009. “Hopefully this result will provide some strong motivation for the girls to step up next year.”

The trainees are assisting on farms with herd sizes ranging from 350 cows to 1400 cows and have a range of backgrounds, including two with trade qualifications (electrician and builder) and one is a former physiotherapist. Another three hold Bachelor qualifications and one holds a Diploma qualification.

“They’re certainly a tight and interesting bunch in a number of aspects, so the tour will provide an opportunity for them to build friendships, challenge each other and consider their future pathway in the industry.”

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner AgITO.

More information on the trainee finalists can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

ENDS

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