From restoring bush on their property to its former natural state to creating a lake and monitoring the water quality, this what made the Ropers stand out to the judges of last year’s Responsible Dairying Award.
“Passionate, enthusiastic and energetic with an ability to motivate those around them” is how Taranaki farmers Damian and Jane Roper were described by the judges before being bestowed the 2019 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award title and receiving the John Wilson Memorial Trophy at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.
Now the NZDIA judges want new blood nominated for the national award that recognises dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainable dairying and who are ambassadors for the industry.
NZDIA general manager Robin Congdon says the award was introduced to recognise those dairy farmers who are respected by their farming peers and their community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairying.
“The 2020 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.”
And while some of the rural community are shy to step forward for such for kudos, or to nominate their peers, Robin says it’s important to showcase the good work farmers are doing within the industry as it does not always get the exposure it deserves.
“We have excellent, experienced dairy farmers creating and working on wonderful projects that have a positive effect on the environment.
“And we want to hear about the people who are farming responsibly, both environmentally and socially, and showcasing excellence on a daily basis. This is a chance for people to nominate their neighbour, their employer or someone in their community.”
Robin says the Award gives 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,” says Robin.
The NZDIAs 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.
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 15, at the National Final to be held in Auckland this year with the winner announced at the Awards dinner on May 16.
Entry for this award is by nomination only via: dairyindustryawards.co.nz