Dairy awards a life changing experience
By Emma Sharplin – emma@thepost.nz
The Post Newspaper was given the opportunity to attend the elite New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on Saturday evening at the Sky City Convention Centre, where the overall winners were announced after grueling rounds of competitions took place throughout the year. 
Of the 400 entries that were received, they were narrowed down to 33 finalists from across the nation, who were all vying for 2017 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, 2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year or the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the year title.  
Local couple, Fraser and Amber Carpenter, where in the running for NZ Share Farmer of the Year, after they took out the Auckland/Hauraki Regional competition in March. While they didn’t place at the national awards on Saturday night, the couple are incredibly upbeat about what the future has in store for them.
“Our main aim was to take out the regional awards, and to just be apart of the National award ceremony, which was pretty amazing,” says Fraser.
The Karaka couple are 50/50 sharemilking on Fraser Mansell’s 66.5ha Papakura property, which see’s them milking 180 cows.
Overall, entering the awards has been a life changing experience for Fraser and Amber.
“It is really hard to describe just how phenomenal it is. Not only have we made friends up and down the country side, we were able to look at our business from the outside in.”
Fraser has already found a way to the pay the experience forward by signing up to the New Zealand Dairy Awards committee.
“It is still early days yet, but I have already been assigned as a team leader for the regional share farmers. This is a way that we can help and encourage others to become part of what has been an amazing experience for us.”
The 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards winners and finalists were said to have represented a group of people who are acutely aware of environmental issues and the dairy industry’s role in farming responsibly.
In front of nearly 550 people, Christopher and Siobhan O’Malley were named the 2017 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year, Hayley Hoogendyk became the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Clay Paton was announced the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.
CAPTION: Fraser and Amber Carpenter, who were 2017 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year, say the awards have been a life changing experience.