This pressure is on this month as 40 entrants in the 2020 Central Plateau regional competition of the Dairy Industry Awards enter the final rounds of judging in the highly-coveted contest.
Central Plateau regional competition team managers Tim and Melissa Parson say eight people have entered the Share Farmer of the Year category, 12 are vying for the Dairy Manager of the Year title and 20 are in the Dairy Trainee of the Year competition for the region.
“The entrants are spread relatively evenly around the Central Plateau,” says Melissa, who with husband Tim won the region’s Share Farmer of the Year title in 2018.
And she knows from experience those in the Share Farmer and Dairy Manager categories will have spent much of January preparing for the judging rounds this month.
“There is a fair bit of preparation involved for these two categories as you have to put together a presentation detailing how you run your farming business.
“Meanwhile, Dairy Trainee contestants will have one practical task to complete and will also have to answer a series of questions on their farming capabilities and experiences. So there is some homework for them too.”
With preliminary judging complete, the final round of the Dairy Trainee category judging is on February 17. The Share Farmer and Dairy Manager entrants are judged from February 18-20.
But Tim and Melissa, who are still contract milking 920 cows on Trinity Lands’ Tokoroa 330ha property where regional DIA title in 2018, say the effort is all worth it.
Melissa says there are many benefits that come just from entering the DIAs, let along winning the competition. “The main thing to come of it for us was the networking and getting your name out there in the industry. I’ve started working at Farmlands and customers instantly recognise my name from somewhere, the DIA awards,” says Melissa, who with Tim are in their first year of being managers of the regional competition.
Her advice to competitors is to prepare thoroughly for the awards and to keep calm under scrutiny.
The CP regional competition winners will be announced at a Regional Awards Dinner on March 3, at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Regional winners then go into national judging against winners from 11 other regions, with national winners announced in May.
A regional Winners’ Field Day will be held March 26, with the location to be on-site of the regional Share Farmer winners’ farming business. For more information, see: www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz/regions/central-plateau/