A new national award will recognise dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainable dairying and are ambassadors for the industry.
The Fonterra Farm Source Responsible Dairying Award has been introduced by the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards to recognise those dairy farmers who are respected by their farming peers and their community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairying.
Rachel Baker, NZDIA Executive Chair, says that farmers are being encouraged to share stories of how they are farming responsibly, both environmentally and socially.
"Many of our winners and entrants from our Dairy Trainee, Dairy Manager and Share Farmer awards programmes do just this and progress to leadership roles within the industry and their communities."
"This award gives us the opportunity to recognise farmers that have progressed to ownership, demonstrate leadership in their farming practices and are a role model for our younger farmers coming through" she says.
"They will be an ambassador to personalise and share the positive things that are being achieved by our dairy farmers."
Chief Operating Officer for Fonterra Farm Source Miles Hurrell says the new award embodies the Co-op's commitment to sustainable dairy farming.
"The Co-op and our farmers take their responsibilities to their communities, their animals and the environment seriously and they demonstrate this in the work they do every day. The criteria that farmers will be assessed against for this award are the foundation of our pledge to maintain and enhance a dairy industry that all New Zealanders can be proud of."
The farmer could come from any of New Zealand's milk suppliers to be eligible for the award. The inaugural winner will be selected by a panel of judges and announced at the national final in Invercargill on May 12th.
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra Farm Source, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.
A total of 374 entries have been received in the 2018 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, with 110 entered in the Share Farmer of the Year competition, 146 entered in the Dairy Manager of the Year competition and 118 entered in the Dairy Trainee of the Year competition.
Entrants will first compete in one of 11 regional competitions being held throughout the country in February and March next year. The winners of those competitions will progress to the national finals in May next year.