Winton trainee gets closer to top honour

22:41, May 10 2014

Josh Lavender of Winton was named runner-up in the Trainee of the Year category when the 2014 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards were held in Auckland last night.

Lavender, who works for Martin and Kim Axtens, is second-in-charge on an 800-cow Central Southland dairy farm and will move to a farm manager role next season.

More than 650 people attended yesterday's 2014 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards ceremony, a black-tie dinner at Auckland's SkyCity Hotel. They included the winners of the 2013 Sharemilker-Equity Farmer of the Year award, Don and Jess Moore, from Benio Dairies, near Gore.

Winton dairy farmers Steve and Tracy Henderson, who won the 2014 Southland-Otago Sharemilker-Equity Farmer of the Year competition, were not placed in the nationwide competition.

However, 2014 Southland-Otago Farm Manager of the Year Jared Crawford, from Riversdale, won the Meridian Energy Leadership Award.

All the major awards went to the North Island this year.Taranaki sharemilkers Charlie and Jody McCaig won the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year category and Mick Bertram, representing the Hawkes Bay-Wairarapa region, was Farm Manager of the Year.

Ruth Hone, from the Central Plateau, became the first woman named Dairy Trainee of the Year.

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