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Winton couple take home award

Early wedding gift just simply the best

DIANE BISHOP
Last updated 11:03 03/03/2014

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Winton sharemilkers Steve Henderson and Tracy Heale have received the best early wedding present they could wish for.

The couple, who will marry this week, won the 2014 Southland Otago Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition in Gore on Saturday night.

They also won the LIC Recording and Productivity Award and the Westpac Business Performance Award.More than 550 people attended the newly-merged Southland Otago Dairy Industry Awards at the MLT Events Centre.

Mr Henderson said it had been a "huge relief" to win the competition.

"It had always been our goal. We have one more season on this farm and then we will be looking for a new job, " he said.

Mr Henderson and Miss Heale 50 per cent sharemilk 320 cows for Adrian and Bev Simmonds at Winton and are targeting 125,000 kilograms of milk solids this season.

After winning the Southland Farm Manager of the Year title in 2009, Mr Henderson said it had always been his goal to win the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition.

Mr Henderson and Miss Heale entered the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition last year and made the top six finalists but did not receive merit awards.

The couple will marry on the dairy farm on Friday, but won't let a honeymoon get in the way of preparing for the national finals in Auckland on May 9.

Second place in the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition went to Gore lower order sharemilkers Daniel and Emily Woolsey, while third went to Otautau lower order sharemilkers James Deans and Angela Coleman.

Riversdale farm manager Jared Crawford, who milks 750 cows for Roger and Tracey Miller, won the Southland Otago Farm Manager of the Year competition.

His wife Sara said they were overwhelmed to win.Mr Crawford was originally a plumber and Mrs Crawford a chef, when they left their respective careers in the Waikato to go dairying.

They moved to Southland two years ago.Second place in the Southland Otago Farm Manager competition went to Woodlands contract milkers Callum Stalker and Hanna Barley while Aparima contract milkers Hadleigh and Jolene Germann were third.

Meanwhile, Winton dairy farmer Josh Lavender, who is second-in-charge on Martin and Kim Axtens' 800 cow farm, won the Southland Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year competition.

Second was Wyndham 2IC Ben Worker, while Winton dairy assistant Jeremy Anderson was third.

Results:
Sharemilker/Equity Farmer Merit Awards:DairyNZ Human Resources Award: James Deans and Angela Coleman
Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award: Daniel and Emily Woolsey
Federated Farmers of New Zealand Leadership Award: Daniel and Emily Woolsey
Honda Farm Safety and Health Award: Russell and Tracy BoumaLIC Recording and Productivity Award: Steve Henderson and Tracy Heale
Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award: Daniel and Emily Woolsey
Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award: Daniel and Emily Woolsey
Triplejump Risk Management Award: James Deans and Angela Coleman
Westpac Business Performance Award: Steve Henderson and Tracy Heale
Farm Manager Merit Awards:Bell Booth
Claude Wuest Memorial Encouragement Award: Esmerelda and Michael Duffin
McIntyre Dick & Partners Leadership Award: Jared Crawford
Fonterra Best Practice Award: Jared Crawford
Primary ITO Human Resource Management Award: Hadleigh and Jolene
Germann RD1 Farm Management Award: Hadleigh and Jolene Germann
Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award: Callum Stalker and Hanna Barley

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Dairy Trainee Merit Awards: AWS Legal Farming Knowledge Award: Stu Dillon Clutha Vets
Terry Bently Animal Husbandry Knowledge Award: Stu Dillon
Shand Thomson - Karen Vreugdenhil
Memorial Leadership Award: Stu Dillon
DairyNZ Practical Skills Award: Josh Lavender.

- The Southland Times

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