Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Canny tips for entrants

Sharemilkers, farm managers and trainees have been given some valuable tips on how to put their best foot forward in next year’s Dairy Industry Awards, entries for which close on December 20.

They come from those who should know – regional as well as national winners in previous years.

At the launch of the Waikato awards, of which Dairy Exporter is a gold sponsor, convenors and 2011 national Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year winners Jason and Lisa Suisted, pictured, said entering grew farm businesses and provided some great contacts and networking opportunities.  

For the on-farm judging their tips included being prepared for all weather, having adequate transport around the farm and not forgetting to show the judges the cows.

Current Waikato Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year Barry McTamney said he still kept in touch with the judges who came to his farm and phoned them for their thoughts and ideas.

Waikato Farm Manager of the Year Thomas White strongly encouraged people to enter, saying they would not be disappointed with the results.

Judging of the dairy trainees includes a half-hour practical module based on daily farm activities, and a half-hour interview covering general farm knowledge and goals and aspirations.  Sharemilkers, equity farmers and farm manager entrants give a two-hour, on-farm presentation to the judges on their role, their business and how they operate.

Lisa said there was already a stream of entrants coming in hoping to take a share of more than $77,000 in prizes.  

At an event to launch the Wairarapa/Southern Hawke’s Bay competition the acting chief executive of AgMardt, James Smallwood, who has taken part in judging over the past three years, was introduced by convenors Clarence and Elise Stolte. He and wife Jane own a 155ha dairy farm and are equity partners in two farms, with just over 2000 cows between them. He said he had been fortunate to employ some entrants in the competition in the past.

“Just the growth we’ve seen as a result of going through that process has been phenomenal,” he said.

“If I look at someone who has done that it shows they have a bit of get up and go and are prepared to learn and continue their education. That’s what this competition should be seen as, a way to learn more. It doesn’t matter what stage you are at, there is always something you can learn.”
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