15 January 2015
The 2015 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has continued to attract large numbers of first time entrants to the awards programme, which aims to help people progress their career in the dairy industry.
National Convenor Chris Keeping says an analysis of the 532 entries received in the awards competitions – including the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year – shows 338 are entering one of the contests for the first time.
“The sharemilker contest is the country’s longest running dairy farming competition and hundreds, actually more likely thousands, of sharemilkers have participated over the years. So we are rapt that the awards programme has remained relevant and attractive to new entrants each year.”
Mrs Keeping says of the 114 entered in the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer contest, 69 are entering the contest for the first time. In the Farm Manager competition there are 94 first time entrants from a total of 160, and 175 entrants in the Dairy Trainee contest are first-timers from the 258 entrants.
She says the awards has the byline ‘Passion for Progression’ and has developed its programme to assist people as they progress through the varying steps in the industry – from farm assistant to farm manager and on to sharemilking and farm ownership.
“We are continually reviewing the awards programme and structure to ensure we embrace the variety of employment arrangements and trends being taken on farms.
“It’s also incredibly important to us that all entrants have a positive experience from entering the competitions. This may be learning some new ideas or skills, making friends or having some fun as at the end of the day all entrants need to have gained some value from the process and we hope they will want to experience that again either in the same competition or another as they progress.”
Entrants are now being invited to information events in their region to learn about the judging process. The events also provide an opportunity for them to meet the other entrants and build relationships with sponsors and organisers.
The Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, New Zealand Farm Source, Ravensdown, and Triplejump, along with industry partner Primary ITO.
See this website for more information on the awards programme.