Dairy awards seek the cream of the crop

The dairy industry needs nominees for its Cream awards this month. The organisers are on the look-out for dairy farmers that have made a real effort to improve their herds and vets and nutritionists who have helped them reach their goals. Rural food champions are also being invited to enter the awards with the tempting possibility of having their dairy products taste tested by experts and senior product buyers.

For farmers, there are categories to celebrate achievement in cow fertility, feed conversion efficiency, productivity (milk yield), technology and health and welfare. With dairy farmers battling a whole host of obstacles including TB and supermarket pricing strategies, the opportunity to reward all that is positive in dairy farming is a good news story. Vets are also being recognised with an award for the Dairy Vet of the Year. Farmers and vets can nominate themselves, or each other in the relevant categories.

A big barrier to nomination can be the self-effacing nature of people in farming and their already busy lives. The Cream Awards organisers are encouraging friends and family to provide support and encouragement, as well as a few words in the right ears of potential nominators, to ensure that their loved ones are recognised.

One issue that is concerning many in farming is the increasing average age of farmers. The Young Dairy farmer of the Year is also being sought, offering a fantastic opportunity to recognise young people who are working hard and making a difference to the future of dairy.

In rural communities there are often close networks and success in farming is also built on the people within that network. Nominations can be made for the Agricultural Merchant of the Year and Forage Manager of the Year, as well as many other categories that are representative of the dairy industry through from udder to spoon.

Anyone who works in the dairy industry at any point in the food chain, including those who create yogurts, cheeses, butter and ice-cream, even as a cottage industry, should take a look at the categories to find out what best fits the bill.

Dairy industry insiders, farmers, vets and producers can go online to find out if they can enter or nominate. Nominations can be made in multiple categories. Closing date for nominations is 1stJune and awards are announced in September.

For nomination forms and further information go to www.farmbusiness.cc/cream_awards_page.asp


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