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Sharemilkers Having Another Go

Media release
7 November 2005


The first entrants to put their hands up for the 2006 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year say taking part in the competition does take time, but it’s absolutely worth the effort.

Helen and Vaughan Jones first entered in the Taranaki region two years ago. They won the award for first time entrants as well as fifth place.

They say they’re having another go to see if they can improve their performance and because they gained so much out of their first experience.

“It really makes you take a good look at your business and where you are. It makes you set goals and it’s really great to meet lots of like-minded people,” says Helen Jones.

With three young children, and 230 cows on a 70 hectare property owned by Vaughan’s parents Colin and Trish Jones, Vaughan and Helen have been sharemilking for five years.

“It’s a busy life but we felt the benefits of entering Sharemilker of the Year were important enough to fit it in too,” Helen says.

“We’ve decided to simplify our approach this time around. Last time we did elaborate power point presentations. But you only have two hours to show the judges your whole operation and that time goes really fast. If you spend it all on computer data, you run out of time to show what you’re actually doing on farm.

“So we’re going to make it simple and just show it as it is.”

Helen and Vaughan really appreciated and benefited from the judges’ feedback sheet.

“It really helps to know what you are doing right and where you could improve,” Helen says.

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The 2006 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Competition is run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) and is sponsored by Dairy InSight, ACC, Bank of New Zealand, Blue Wing Honda, Dexcel, Ecolab, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement and Ravensdown.

Entries close on December 20, 2005. Winners of the regional finals go through to the national final to be held in Christchurch on May 13, 2006

Entry forms are available from Federated Farmers PH 0800 327 646, or by contacting the regional convenors and sponsor representatives or can be downloaded from www.fedfarm.org.nz/smoty


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