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Share Farmer of the Year

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Am I eligible?

If you are a:

  • Percentage Sharemilker
  • Contract Milker
  • Equity Farmer
  • Lessee
  • New Zealand citizen or New Zealand resident at close of entries OR Entrants with a NZ work visa are eligible to enter SFOTY if they:
    - Hold a valid New Zealand work visa with open work conditions at entry and at each stage of judging 
    - Meet the additional eligibility criteria set out in the pdf Conditions of Entry (pdf 469KB).  

If you are unsure which category you can enter, take a look at our Awards Programme Reference Chart. If you are still unsure, then use our Contact page to get in touch outlining your circumstance. 

Recognition towards the New Zealand Diploma in Agribusiness Management

Did you know - as part of entering the Share Farmer of the Year category you could fast-track your way to a New Zealand Diploma in Agribusiness Management?

Share Farmer of the Year entrants have the opportunity to prepare their awards presentation as evidence to count towards modules in the New Zealand Diploma in Agribusiness Management. This process is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Click Here to find out more.

How do I enter?

  • Create an Account (or Login if you were a previous entrant and already have an account) & Fill out an Entry Form on this website during the entry open period
  • To complete your entry we require the Farm Owner's and Employer's permission (if they are different people).  If you supply an email address, permission can be obtained electronically or alternatively, in printed form if they do not have an email address.
  • When permission has been given, you will receive an email from the NZDIA with details on how to access the 'entrant only' part of our website.  Here you will find more information about the category including Tips for Judging.
  • In this category, you are required to provide a copy of your previous year's financial accounts (or budget/cashflow if in your first year of business) and you will also be invited to provide a DairyBase analysis as well. So if your previous year's financial accounts are not yet complete, contact your accountant as soon as possible.

What about Judging?

  • Judging is held through the months of January, February and March. Check your regional dates to make sure you will be around and not sunning yourself on the beach! Closer to your region's judging dates, you will receive your specific judging date and time.
  • Judging takes place on-farm, and is 2 hours. There will be a preliminary round of judging, with five entrants progressing to the final round of judging.
  • The judges in your category are experienced in the field of farming and want to know about you and your farming career. Watch our video 'Awards Journey' which gives an insight into judging.


  • Entrants receive a written Feedback Report from their judges, with finalists receiving a report from each of their judging rounds.
  • Regional Winners then progress to the National Final and in May of each year, they are judged by a national judging team to determine the national winner and placegetters.

Judging Criteria

  • The judging covers the topics outlined on the wheel below, all of which you will be familiar with in your everyday farming life. Once entered, there will be more information about your category.

Assessment Tools

DairyNZ provide tools to help you assess your farm performance.

  • Farm Gauge - Identifies the opportunities in your business. Click here to try it. 
  • DairyBase helps you better understand your farm system and its performance, by comparing KPIs (key performance indicators) and determining what is working well, then identifying opportunities for improvement. Find out more..

Other information