2008-11-28

Not so Hot off the Press - NZ Dairy Trust Media Release "Big Benefits to Dairy Award Entrants"

25 November 2008

BIG BENEFITS TO DAIRY AWARD ENTRANTS

The 2008 New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year say the intangible benefits from entering the competition are ten-fold compared to any monetary reward.

Tararua farm owners and sharemilkers Ben and Nicky Allomes won the national competition on their fourth time entering.

The couple kept entering the competition as they say the feedback they received from judges and other opportunities that the competition presented gave them the confidence to grow their business.

“We might have won about $50,000 in prizes but we gained about $500,000 in business growth,” Ben Allomes says. “Every time we entered the competition we saw an opportunity and the feedback we got from the judges gave us the confidence that we were on the right track to pursue it.

“We didn’t keep entering the competition to win – we kept entering because of the value we received by doing so. We really encourage people to enter one of the competitions and see what they can gain from the process, win or lose.”

Entries are now being accepted in the 2009 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, comprising the Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

The Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, Honda, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

The Allomes are now convening the Hawke’s Bay Wairarapa Regional Awards after taking possession of their first farm in June, employing farm managers, and continuing to hold their sharemilking position.

They say there are three things that people need to be successful in the dairy industry – skills, contacts and money. “The competition helps you get the first two and then the money follows after that!

“Entering the competition is also great for gaining feedback from the judges, benchmarking your business against others, gaining confidence, improving relationships with rural professionals and for the social opportunities it provides,” they say.

People first enter one of 12 regional competitions, with each of the three regional winners progressing to the national finals and the opportunity to be named New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year or New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Entries close in early January, with entry forms available from regional convenors, sponsors or downloaded from the awards website, www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

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