Red Hot off the Press - NZ Dairy Industry Awards Media Release ' Best Farm Forward in Dairy Awards'

8 December 2008


Having their sharemilkers enter the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition provided a number of positive spin-offs for farm owners Andy Palmer and Sharon Collett – most notably the farm never looked so good!

“I saw the sharemilkers physically putting in a lot of effort to do jobs that perhaps may not have otherwise got done or that would have got done eventually. With the competition they all got done at once.”

The Palmer’s property is close to Fonterra’s Clandeboye factory in South Canterbury and was run by 50% sharemilkers Paul Mercer and Desiree Reid last season. The couple entered the 2008 Canterbury Sharemilker of the Year competition, winning, and placing third in the New Zealand final.

Mr Palmer says he was happy to support Paul and Desiree’s entry in the competition, signing forms and being available to meet judges.

“The whole experience was 100% positive. It was also motivating. I got out and did stuff that perhaps I had been dragging the chain on.

“It was also evident to me that a lot of the paperwork and documentation that’s required nowadays in complying with resource consents and other things were up to date and staff were well briefed. It was great.”

He says Paul and Desiree put considerable effort into their entry and he witnessed them grow in confidence and in the realisation that they were doing a good job.

“All the finalists got so much out of it, even just positive affirmation that what they are doing is in the right direction and if there were some areas where they could improve they were given positive feedback from the judges to assist them.”

Mr Palmer plans to encourage his new sharemilkers to enter the competition at some stage. “I will encourage them to enter these awards as it’s exciting to see the benefits that they will get out of it and it’s great for the farm.”

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

The 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.

Further information on the Awards, including entry forms, can be obtained by visiting www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.


  1. This is an interesting read for us UK farmers who - up until we had Foot-and-Mouth - used to be Dairy Farmers. Liked the bit where you said that lots of jobs got done in the clear up that wouldn't otherwise have got done! I think that is true of all farmers - it is a never ending job, isn't it? When we had the disease we were cleared of animals, disinfected and left bare apart from our Border Collie. Everywhere was pristine clean - and dead and lifeless - there was not an animal to be seen for a km. around our farm and we were all in tears. I cannot tell you how good it was to get back to normality. Congrats to the people who did all the hard work and got the award. Long may we all keep farming.

  2. Hi Weaver that would have been almost too much to bear. To lose all those cattle to Foot and Mouth would have been devastating. I think when you lose not just an income but a livelihood as well to have to turn around and start all over again is sometimes just too hard. We had lots of farmers here lose their farms and income not to disease but to stupid radical economic policies in the early 1980's. Unfortunately there's a bad taint of those same policies in the air once more..I shudder to think. No this young couple have worked very hard and the award was well deserved. As you said the work never stops and it's rewarding when you see results like these award rounds. Well said Weaver Long may we all keep farming. Great Comment

    All the best