The 2018 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards get underway tomorrow, when entries in the Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year categories will be accepted online at dairyindustryawards.co.nz

There are generous travel voucher prizes up for grabs. An Earlybird Share Farmer of the Year entrant who enters the awards before the Earlybird cut-off date of November 10 could win could win a $4000 travel voucher, with $3000 and $2000 travel vouchers for Dairy Manager and Dairy Trainee of the year respectively.

All competing in the awards benefit from the learning experience they receive when their business or place in the dairy industry comes into sharp focus during the competition.

There are also financial rewards, with substantial regional and national prize pools.

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Most of the 11 regions competing in 2018 have held or will soon be holding launch events - fun social meetings that provide entrants with information about the awards in a relaxed setting - but that won't be happening in Northland, where regional manager Brad Roberts said the first entrant and sponsor event would be at the Barge Showgrounds Events Centre in Whangarei from 10am-1pm on December 11.

Preliminary Dairy Trainee of the Year judging will be carried out from January 30 to February 1 next year with finals judging on February 19.

Preliminary judging for the Share Farmer and Dairy Manager awards will be held on February 7-9 with finals judging on February 20-22.

A Northland regional awards dinner will be held at Toll Stadium in Whangarei from 6pm on March 8 and regional winners will host a field day on March 28.

The 33 regional winners in each of the three categories around New Zealand will be assessed for national honours and the 2018 national awards dinner will be held at Invercargill on May 12.

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

More information on Earlybird prizes is available at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz/regions