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Time to rest and plan for 2017 Dairy Industry Award entrants

17 January 2017

Time to rest and plan for 2017 Dairy Industry Award entrants

While many people have had a rest from the stresses of work over the Christmas and New Year break, the reality can be different for farmers.

Summer is a busy time in the farming calendar, and General Manager of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Chris Keeping says it is just as important for farmers to take a break as any other person.

“Farming is a 24/7 commitment – the cows don’t milk themselves and the hay doesn’t get cut by itself, however it is vital that farmers find time to rest and relax with family and friends,” she said.

“The summer has been a mixed bag weather-wise, which can add a different type of stress to the mix.”

However, Chris says entrants in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards who used their summer holiday to prepare for the 2017 competitions will be one step ahead of their competitors, as Awards activity heats up.

The awards, which oversee the Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions, received 424 entries prior to Christmas.

General Manager Chris Keeping says some information events for entrants and sponsors have already been held in some of the awards’ 11 regions, and the rest will take place over the next few weeks.

“These events provide an opportunity for entrants to meet, and to learn more about the Awards and what to expect, as well as connecting people within the industry.”

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.

Full details of the entrant and sponsor events can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Chris says the events are also useful for entrants as they prepare for judging, which begins for the Dairy Trainee competition in Taranaki, Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa and Northland on January 24.

There is no on farm judging component in the Dairy Trainee competition. Instead entrants participate in a short practical session covering every day farming tasks and an interview.

The time allowed for on farm judging is two hours in the Share Farmer of the Year competition and one-and-a-half hours in the Dairy Manager of the Year competition. It is up to each entrant to determine how best to cover off the judging criteria, so it is important that entrants make the most of that time and plan well. “This is where time spent planning over the summer will really pay off,” says Chris.

The first regional winners will be announced in Hawkes Bay on February 27, while the Southland/Otago region is the last to name its winners on March 25. All 33 regional winners will progress to a national final in Auckland on May 6.

ENDS

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