20 July 2015
The most significant changes in the history of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards have been made to enhance the competitions and enable more dairy farm workers to enter the awards programme.
Awards Executive Chairman Gavin Roden says he is excited about the changes that have been made to all three of the awards competitions.
“As an executive we had identified for a few years that there were a lot of people that couldn’t enter our awards because of the changing face of the industry and employment,” Mr Roden says.
“Often it had come down to what was written in people’s contracts and that didn’t always reflect on what they were doing. So we were pigeon holing people into a competition, which some of them fitted and some of them didn’t.”
He says the revamp includes changes to the competition names and entry criteria.
The Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition will now be known as the Share Farmer of the Year and be open to those that are self-employed and responsible for all aspects of the farm business. The contest is likely to attract entries from herd owning and variable order sharemilkers, contract milkers, equity partners or managers, and lessees.
The Farm Manager of the Year contest has been renamed the Dairy Manager of the Year and is open to all salaried farm workers charged with implementing farm policies and plans, and with some responsibility to meet farm goals.
The Dairy Trainee of the Year competition has been altered so that entrants must be aged between 18 and 25 years (previously up to 30 years) to attract new entrants to dairy farming and genuine trainees.
“We wanted to get as many people into the awards programme as possible, but we also wanted to make sure they are being able to progress through the industry because there are so many different pathways now-a-days,” Mr Roden says.
“We hope the changes will give a more even spread of entries across the three competitions.”
He says the industry has changed significantly in the past 25 years since the sharemilker competition began and the competition itself has evolved over the years. “All we are doing is evolving to make sure we keep pace and maintain relevance and enable people to still have the opportunity to enter the awards and gain the benefits from that.”
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, New Zealand Farm Source, and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.
Entries in the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will be received from October 20 to November 30. More information on the changes to the awards can be found on this website.