Local farmers are gearing up for the finals of the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

Finalists representing 11 regions will compete for prizes worth more than $165,000 and the honour of winning either the 2016 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, 2016 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year or the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year title.

Among the finalists are Reporoa's Ross and Karla Shaw who are representing Central Plateau in the Share Farmer of the Year category. Whakatane's Glen and Donna Sparrow are representing the Bay of Plenty.

The local Dairy Manager of the Year finalists are Whakatane's Thomas Chatfield , who is representing the Bay of Plenty, and Mangakino's Leighton Swan, who is representing Central Plateau.

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Whakatane's Michael Simpson and Olivia Wade from Atiamuri are Dairy Trainee of the Year finalists.

General manager Chris Keeping said the 33 finalists are all that remain from the 452 who originally entered the 2016 awards programme.

"The regional competitions always reveal both experienced and emerging talent in the industry and stories of achievement and opportunity, even in a challenging economic climate," Mrs Keeping said.

"It's a great privilege to witness the excitement of their regional wins and the absolute progress each finalist makes both personally and professionally as they step up and move through the national judging and finals."

The winners will be announced at a black tie awards dinner in Wellington on May 14. Tickets to the dinner can be purchased online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

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