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Sharemilking Leads To Farm Ownership For Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Regional Winners

Regional Sharemilker of the Year winners Andrew and Alison Watters say that the competition has helped their business progress to the point where they can now become farm owners.

“We entered the competition because we wanted to measure ourselves against the best in the industry. It was a real challenge that allowed us to do an in-depth review of our business and re-evaluate our objectives,” they say.

Last night the Watters’ were announced winners of the Hawkes Bay Wairarapa regional competition. They also scooped the Ravensdown Pasture Management merit award to take home prizes worth nearly $8500.

The Watters’ are set to take ownership of their own 240 cow dairy farm in June.

“The sharemilking system has been absolutely instrumental in our ability to purchase our own farm,” they say.

Andrew and Alison are currently 50:50 sharemilking 330 cows on 93 hectares in Pahiatua owned by Cynthia Cass and Ian Arbithnott. They also sharemilk a Carterton farm owned by the Budd-Taumata Partnership. For the purposes of the competition they were judged on their Pahiatua operation.

The Watters’ are proud of their involvement in the dairy industry and say that winning the regional Sharemilker of the Year Competition, which is run in association with Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc., is icing on the cake.

They will now progress to the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year final to be held in Auckland on May 3, where they will compete for a total prize pool worth more than $60,000.

ACC, Blue Wing Honda, Bank of New Zealand, Fonterra, Livestock Improvement, Ravensdown, Ecolab, RD1, Dairy InSight and Dexcel sponsor the competition.

Michael and Karen Pallesen won second place, as well as winning the Stock Management Award, the ACC Thinksafe Farm Safety Award and the Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc. Leadership Award. All told they won almost $6000 worth of prizes.

Third place went to David and Janine Swansson, who also won the BNZ Financial Management Award. They won prizes worth $2500.

Other Merit Award Winners:

- Most Promising Sharemilker Award: Nicki and Keri Lourie

- Dairy InSight First Time Entrant Award: Gray and Andrea Beagley

- Livestock Improvement Best Herd records Award: Michael Magiera and Smita Apte

- Ecolab Farm Dairy Environment Award: Craig and Brenda Blatchford

- Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety Award: Nicki and Keri Lourie

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