Nominations to a national award that recognises dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainable dairying and who are ambassadors for the industry opened on February 1.
The Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award was introduced last year 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. Entry for this award is by nomination only via dairyindustryawards.co.nz
The 2019 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award farmer could come from any of New Zealand's milk suppliers and any farmer or farming partnership who demonstrates a high calibre of performance and leadership in the areas of responsible and sustainable care of people, animals, ecosystems and communities are eligible to enter.
Rachel Baker, New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Executive Chair, says that farmers are being encouraged to share stories of how they are farming responsibly, both environmentally and socially, and to showcase excellence.
"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.
The 2018 inaugural winners of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award were Matamata farmers Wynn and Tracy Brown, who are considered leaders within the dairy industry, in all areas of sustainability, business and farm management, as well as in the way they give back to the industry and community.
The couple believe that they are only caretakers of the land for future generations and want to leave it in better condition than when they took it on.
"We want to leave a legacy," they say. "Sustainable farming is about 'walking the walk' not just 'talking the talk', it's about what you do when no-one is looking," say the Browns.
"It's also about not just living for the here and now, but about thinking for the future and those that will come after you."
Nomination forms are available at dairyindustryawards.co.nz, with entries closing March 20. From those nominations, three finalists will be selected and interviewed by a panel of judges on Friday May 10, and the winner announced at the National Final in Wellington on May 11.
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy, and Ravensdown, along with industry partners DairyNZ and Primary ITO.
A total of 393 entries have been received in the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, with 106 entered in the Share Farmer of the Year category, 166 entered in the Dairy Manager of the Year category and 121 entered in the Dairy Trainee of the Year category.
Entrants take part in one of 11 regional programmes throughout the country in February and March with the winners progressing to the national finals in May.