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Entries open for 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards

For release
18 October 2016

Entries open for 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards

Entries for the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards open on 20 October and the standard is once again expected to be high.

2016 Dairy Manager of the Year, Thomas Chatfield encourages everyone eligible to enter, saying the Awards have opened many doors for him. “Winning the competition has given me opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had, from being asked to talk to the leaders of New Zealand agricultural companies to possible job opportunities,” he said.

“My advice to anyone thinking about entering would be to be yourself and show the judges how you make the farm work and what difference you make to the farm.”

2016 Share Farmers of the Year, Mark and Jaime Arnold also recommend entering the Awards, saying it was one of the best decisions they have ever made. “There is never a 'good time' to enter, just do it, it is the best motivator to get a kick start,” said Jaime.

The Dannevirke couple said winning Share Farmer of the Year has kept them focussed on the goals they set for themselves, and they are determined to achieve them.  “We know what we are capable of and can see where we could be in 10 years time, which drives us even more to achieve our goals,” explained Jaime.  “We have exposed ourselves nationally too and have networked with a wide range of people within a range of businesses, who we look forward to keeping in touch with.”

General Manager Chris Keeping said entering the competitions is one of the best ways farmers can raise their profile and reputation, make useful connections and have some fun along the way.

‘‘We made considerable changes last year to improve the competitions to enable more people to enter and to make the awards fairer,” said Chris. 

“Judging on the feedback we’ve received, we’ve achieved that goal and more.”

Nicholas Bailey won 2016 Dairy Trainee of the Year and initially entered the Awards to test his knowledge and abilities. “I met new people and challenged myself, and the win has opened up new contacts and networks,” said Nicholas.

The Arnolds acknowledge the Dairy Industry Awards encouraged them to pull their business apart and scrutinise why they operate the way they do.

“The Awards give you the opportunity to learn about your own business, grow yourselves and network amongst like-minded people and professionals,” said Mark.

“You have everything to gain and nothing to lose,” Jaime added.  “There are fantastic prizes to be won, so why not give it a shot!”

Entries for Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year will be accepted from October 20 and will close on November 30.
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra Farm Source, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.
The Share Farmer of the Year competition is open to self-employed farmers responsible for the day-to-day running of the farm.
Dairy Manager of the Year is open to salaried farm staff, in job roles such as farm manager, herd manager and production manager.
Dairy Trainee of the Year is open to salaried farm staff, but must be aged between 18 to 25 years with no more than three years full-time experience on a dairy farm.
Full entry criteria must be met to enter and can be found at


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