Competition excitement growing

Preliminary judging has been completed and the finalists in this year's New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Southland/Otago region have been announced.

The finalists for the Southland/Otago Farm Manager of the Year, Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year will go through a second round of judging later this month and the award winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the MLT Events Centre, Gore, on March 1.

The 11 regional competitions offer prize pools valued at up to $80,000. Southland Otago regional co-convener Helen Hartshorne, of Tapanui, was pleased with how well the the first round of judging went.

''It will be a very close competition with a high standard of entrants,'' Mrs Hartshorne said.

Southland/Otago and Canterbury/North Otago were the first regions to begin judging. The Farm Manager of the Year regional winner will hold their field day on March 27 and the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year regional winner will hold theirs on March 13.

The national final will be in Auckland on May 9.

Tickets to the Southland Otago awards dinner are available through RD1 stores or Emma Todd on: 027-298-6273.


SOUTHLAND/OTAGO FINALISTS
DAIRY TRAINEE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

• Stu Dillon, Balclutha
• Josh Lavender, Winton
• Jamie Macdonald, Invercargill
• Teresa Walters, Outram
• Ben Worker, Wyndham
• Jeremy Anderson, Winton

FARM MANAGER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
• Jared Crawford, Gore
• Esmerelda and Michael Duffin, Otautau
• Hadleigh and Jolene Germann, Otautau
• Callum Stalker and Hanna Barley, Invercargill
• Nick Templer and Anieka Venekamp, Balfour
• Jess Warnock and Mick Annan, Wyndham

SHAREMILKER/EQUITY FARMER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
• Russel and Tracy Bouma, Balclutha
• Mark and Megan Cordiner, Otautau
• James Deans and Angela Coleman, Otautau
• Andre and Kim Egbers, Invercargill
• Tracy Heale and Steve Henderson, Winton
• Daniel and Emily Woolsey, Gore