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Sunday, March 25, 2018

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Top farmers prepare for finals

Posted at 11:50am Saturday 15 Apr, 2017

The 33 finalists in the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards won’t be taking a break over Easter – they will be too busy preparing for the final round of judging which gets underway on April 22.

The finalists represent 11 regions and will compete for prizes worth more than $190,000 and the honour of winning either the 2017 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, 2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year or the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the year title.

General Manager Chris Keeping says the 33 finalists are the cream of the crop from the 424 entries received, and it was a hard-fought battle.

“The feedback was that the calibre of entrants in all regions was outstanding, making the judges’ job very difficult.  It is very clear that the New Zealand dairy industry is in good health with passionate farmers, managers and trainees with positive attitudes leading the way.

“It was fantastic to attend all 11 regional finals and feel the excitement of the wins and see the journey each finalist has taken, both professionally and personally.  There is a real mix of age, farming experience and career backgrounds but all have the confidence to handle the next level of judging as they head towards the national finals.”

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, New Zealand Farm Source and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.

The 11 finalists in the New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year competition consist of 10 sharemilkers and one contract milker.  They oversee herds ranging from 225 cows to 800 cows and have varied career backgrounds including a past accountant, an adventure tourism guide and a qualified mechanic.

The New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year finalists include three females amongst the 11 finalists who are aged between 23 and 38 years and work on farms with herds ranging from 325 cows to 1340 cows.

There is a sole female amongst the 11 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year finalists.  Five finalists are employed as farm assistants, three as herd managers, two as second-in-charge and one assistant manager.

The winner will be announced at a black tie awards dinner at SkyCity in Auckland on Saturday May 6.  Tickets to the dinner can be purchased online at

2016 Dairy Manager of the Year winner Thomas Chatfield. 


Northland - Niall & Delwyn McKenzie, 38 & 36, 50% sharemilkers 230 cows, Kaiwaka

Auckland-Hauraki - Fraser & Amber Carpenter, 32 & 33, 50% sharemilkers 180 cows, Papakura

Waikato - Phillip van Heuven, 30, 50% sharemilker 230 cows, Tirau

Bay of Plenty - Cameron & Margaret Bierre, both 30, 24% sharemilkers 800 cows, Whakatane

Central Plateau - Carlos & Bernice Delos Santos, both 30, 50% sharemilkers 300 cows, Ngakuru

Taranaki - Dion & Jo Bishell, 42 & 36, 50% sharemilkers 470 cows, Hawera

Manawatu - Jarrod & Nikki Greenwood, 33 & 30, sharemilkers 320 cows, Palmerston North

Hawkes Bay-Wairarapa - Rob & Shiralee Seerden, 45 & 44 years, contract milk 225 cows, Norsewood

West Coast-Top of the South - Jon & Vicki Nicholls, 39 & 37, sharemilkers 470 cows, Murchison

Canterbury-North Otago - Christopher & Siobhan O’Malley, both 34, sharemilking 515 cows, Ashburton

Southland-Otago - Russell & Tracy Bouma, 40 & 37, sharemilking 762 cows, Clydevale



Northland - Greg Imeson, 34, farm manager 510 cows, Hukerenui

Auckland-Hauraki - Rachael Foy, 24, assistant manager 500 cows, Te Kauwhata

Waikato - Euan McLeod, 35, farm manager 380 cows, Taupiri

Bay of Plenty - Hayden & Linda McCartie, 35 & 38, farm managers 710 cows, Whakatane

Central Plateau - Anthony Kiff, farm manager 1180 cows, Reporoa

Taranaki - Shaun Neal, 23, farm manager 325 cows, Auroa

Manawatu - Hayley Hoogendyk, 28, farm manager 600 cows, Rongotea

Hawkes Bay-Wairarapa - Kenny Henderson, 37, farm manager 330 cows, Woodville

West Coast-Top of the South - Jack Raharuhi, 24, farm manager 1150 cows, Westport

Canterbury-North Otago - Kerry Higgins, 32, farm manager 1340 cows, Hororata

Southland-Otago - Ann Linton, 25, assistant manager 800 cows, Gore



Northland - Blake Anderson, 19, farm assistant, 420 cows, Kaiwaka

Auckland-Hauraki - Alexander Voysey, 23, dairy production manager, 600 cows, Ngatea

Waikato - Kobus Liebenberg, 23, herd manager 420 cows, Ohaupo

Bay of Plenty - Hayden Goodall, 24, herd manager 750 cows, Matata

Central Plateau - Taylor Macdonald, 20, 2IC, 470 cows, Reporoa

Taranaki               - Tim Bonner, 23, assistant manager, 800 cows, Kapuni

Manawatu - Stephanie Walker, 22, farm assistant, 840 cows, Foxton

Hawkes Bay-Wairarapa - Brandyn Beale, 21, herd manager, 350 cows, Dannevirke

West Coast-Top of the South     Clay Paton, 23, 2IC, 450 cows, Wakefield

Canterbury-North Otago - Ben Haley, 24, farm assistant 1100 cows, Ashburton

Southland-Otago - Ben McLean, 22, farm assistant 980 cows, Lumsden

2016 Dairy Trainee of the Year winner Nicholas Bailey.


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