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03 Feb 2012
JUDGES CRITIQUE DAIRY AWARDS ENTRANTS Judging has begun in the rigorous process to select the winners in the 2012 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards from the record 525 entrants.

The entrants are split among 12 regions, with regional competitions selecting the best to proceed on to the national finals. Further judging will determine the New Zealand winners in the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year contests.

By the end of March the 525 entrants will have been whittled down to 36 regional winners and just three will take out the national honours in Auckland in May.

“Entrants may think the odds of winning are against them, but we like to think all entrants are winners in the awards – by either meeting new people, learning something about themselves, setting new goals or by making improvements to their farm business,” national convenor Chris Keeping says.

Judging takes place throughout February and involves a two-hour on-farm presentation for entrants in the sharemilker/equity farmer and farm manager contests.

“It’s really important entrants have planned how they manage this time and we try to encourage them to be original and unique, and to really demonstrate their passion for dairy farming. They should also outline their future plans and career goals.”

Mrs Keeping says those who gain the most from judging are the best organised. It is recommended entrants read the judging criteria, seek advice from past entrants about what to expect, have a practice run-through and avoid any distractions.

Entrants in the dairy trainee contest will compete in a 30-minute practical session in a central location, as part of their judging criteria.

The awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner AgITO.

Judging continues throughout February, with the first regional winners announced in Hawkes Bay Wairarapa on February 28.

Further information on the awards can be found at

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