The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards

Media Releases

Dairy Awards Finalists Represent Emerging Talent

13 April 2016

There is a mix of age, farming experience and career backgrounds among the 33 finalists competing in the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

The finalists represent 11 regions and will compete for prizes worth more than $165,000 and the honour of winning either the 2016 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, 2016 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year or the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year title.

General Manager Chris Keeping says the 33 finalists are all that remain from the 452 who originally entered the 2016 awards programme.

“The regional competitions always reveal both experienced and emerging talent in the industry and stories of achievement and opportunity, even in a challenging economic climate,” Mrs Keeping says.

“It’s a great privilege to witness the excitement of their regional wins and the absolute progress each finalist makes both personally and professionally as they step up and move through the national judging and finals.”

The 11 finalists in the New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year competition include six traditional 50% sharemilkers, four contract milkers and one equity farm manager. They oversee herds ranging from 260 cows to 1000 cows and have industry experience ranging from less than two years to more than 10 years.

The New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year finalists include seven farm managers, two herd managers and two production managers and range in age from 23 years to 36 years. There is a sole female among the 11 finalists that include a past regional Dairy Trainee winner and physiotherapist, an automotive engineer, economist, and motorcycle engineer.

There are four females among the 11 finalists contesting the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year title and they work on farms ranging from 140 cows to 1060 cows. Six are employed as a 2IC, while two are farm assistants, two are assistant managers and one is a herd manager.

There were major changes to the entry criteria of all three competitions for the 2016 awards. “In the Dairy Trainee contest, we restricted an entrant’s age and academic qualification and we think that has created a much more even group of finalists. Overall we are very pleased with how the changes have worked and especially how they have enabled more people to enter and gain the benefits from doing so,” Mrs Keeping says.

The winners will be announced at a black tie awards dinner in Wellington on Saturday May 14. Tickets to the dinner can be ordered online at this website.

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.

New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year finalists:
Northland Glen & Trish Rankin, both aged 38, 50% sharemilkers 265 cows, Mangamuka
Auckland Brad Markham & Matthew Herbert, aged 35 & 25, contract milking 260 cows, west Huntly
Waikato Bobby & Jade Millner, 27 & 26, 50% sharemilkers 265 cows, Morrinsville
Bay of Plenty Glen & Donna Sparrow, 38 & 35, contract milking 450 cows, Whakatane
Central Plateau Ross & Karla Shaw, 33 & 32, 20% equity managers 500 cows, Reporoa
Taranaki Ben & Belinda Price, both 35, 50% sharemilkers 680 cows, Waitotara
Manawatu Stephen Shailer, 30, contract milking 420 cows, Foxton
Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Mark & Jaime Arnold, 50% sharemilkers 500 cows, Dannevirke
West Coast/Top of the South Jesse Huffman & Renee Mason, 26 & 28, contract milking 900 cows, Lewis Pass
Canterbury Michael & Susie Woodward, 35 & 33, 50% sharemilkers 1000 cows, Dunsandel
Southland/Otago Callum & Hanna Stalker, 32 & 30, 50% sharemilkers 680 cows, Otautau

New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year finalists:
Northland Brendon Davison, 30, herd manager 450 cows, Mata
Auckland Hayden Kerr, 26, farm manager 270 cows, west Huntly
Waikato Leyton Evans, 31, farm manager 685 cows, Hamilton
Bay of Plenty Thomas Chatfield, 30, farm manager 500 cows, Whakatane
Central Plateau Leighton Swan, 32, farm manager 940 cows, Mangakino
Taranaki Sam Howard, 27, production manager 312 cows, Stratford
Manawatu Renae Flett, 29, farm manager 250 cows, Palmerston North
Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Lance Graves, 26, herd manager 315 cows, Martinborough
West Coast/Top of the South Matt Birchfield, 36, production manager 785 cows, Haupiri
Canterbury Hamish Kilpatrick, 23, farm manager 370 cows, Culverden
Southland/Otago Wayne Ashmore, 31, farm manager 930 cows, Otautau

New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year finalists:
Northland Christina Aitken, 21, farm assistant 340 cows, Ruawai
Auckland James Doidge, 20, 2IC 500 cows, AkaAka
Waikato Chris Ferguson, 20, 2IC 600 cows, Otorohanga
Bay of Plenty Michael Simpson, 20, 2IC 450 cows, Whakatane
Central Plateau Olivia Wade, 23, assistant manager 140 cows, Atiamuri
Taranaki Sam Hughson, 19, 2IC 810 cows, Hawera
Manawatu Karl Wood, 21, farm assistant 275 cows, Palmerston North
Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Nicholas Bailey, 21, assistant manager 950 cows, Greytown
West Coast/Top of the South Del Bruce, 25, 2IC 280 cows, Rainy River
Canterbury Rikki Forge, 24, 2IC 1060 cows, Eyrewell
Southland Otago Chloe Mackle, 23, herd manager 500 cows, Heddon Bush.