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New Entrants Inundate Sharemilker Competition

The 2003 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year Competition has been inundated with entries from first time competitors.

National Convenor Chris Keeping says that 81 of the 143 entrants, or 57%, are entering the competition for their first time.

“This is a lot more first time entrants than we can recall previously and we hope this reflects the passion and enthusiasm many in the industry have for the competition.”

Ms Keeping says there is many reasons people enter the competition, including prestige among employers and processes that make competitors benchmark their business and think a little outside the square.

“Former competitors will tell you that entry in the competition has opened many doors for them,” says Ms Keeping.

“The judges’ scrutinise the sharemilkers’ entire operation. In turn, entrants are forced to look at every aspect of their business. This means that competitors need to focus on aspects that aren’t necessarily their strengths, which they tell us results in monumental improvements to their business.”

Past entrants tell us the learning and networking that takes place during the judging processes and awards dinners is invaluable. Some say even more valuable than the prizes themselves.

“New competitors can’t believe how much they gain from the competition. It’s a great chance for sharemilkers to meet their peers and exchange ideas. The networks that they form can carry them a very long way.”

The competition is being run in association with Federated Farmers and is now in its 15th year. ACC, Livestock Improvement, Dairy InSight, Blue Wing Honda, Bank of New Zealand, RD1, Ravensdown, Ecolab, Fonterra and Dexcel support the Competition as a family of sponsors.

Just how well the first time entrants do this year will be known soon. The first New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year regional awards dinner is being held in Auckland on March 6. They continue until April 4 with the 11 regional winners progressing to the national final in Auckland on May 3.

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