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Published: 7 Mar 2019

Seven Tasmanian dairy farms are in the running for the title of 2019 ANZ Tasmanian Dairy Business of the Year or Fonterra Share Dairy Farmer of the Year.

2019 ANZ Dairy Business of the Year Award finalists:

  • Waterhouse Dairies ‘Oxberry Dairy’, managed by David Risbey-Pearn (pictured), Waterhouse;
  • ‘Clear Springs Dairy’, managed by Tim and Fiona Salter, Meander;
  • Gary and Helen Strickland, King Island.

2019 Fonterra Share Dairy Farmer finalists:

  • Andrew and Jenny Aldridge, Branxholm;
  • Damien and Brooke Cocker, Rushy Lagoon;
  • Jeffrey Gijsbers and Monique Mulder, Elizabeth Town;
  • John and Emma Innes-Smith, Togari.

Both awards will be announced at the Tasmanian Dairy Awards Dinner at the Country Club Tasmania in Launceston on the evening of 21 March.

Finalists of the Dairy Business of the Year Award were selected from 32 participants in a free benchmarking program, run by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). Businesses were assessed on their 2017-18 financial performance, judged by a panel including last year’s winners, Michael Palmer and Rhys Palmer.

"Feedback shows our benchmarking service helps Tasmania’s dairy businesses to make confident and sound farm management decisions that benefit them, and the wider industry, into the future,” TIA Dairy Extension team leader Lesley Irvine said.

The TIA team works with dairy businesses to measure financial and physical information such as costs (per cow, per ha and per kg of milk solids), milk and feed production, and efficiency of labour and pasture use.

Finalists of the Share Dairy Farmer Award were also selected based on financial performance, alongside their skills in people, pasture and herd management, and the relationship with the farm owner.

“Each year, the Tasmanian dairy awards recognise the commitment of our dairy farmers and highlight the diversity of skills that are essential to business success in the industry,” DairyTas Executive Officer Jonathan Price said.

Five other awards will be presented at the event:

  • Young Farmer Encouragement Award, sponsored by Mondelez;
  • Dairy Environmental Award, sponsored by Veolia;
  • Employer of Choice Award, sponsored by Aurora Energy;
  • Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by Van Dairy Group;
  • Farm Safety Award, sponsored by WFI.

More information about the conference and awards dinner is available on the DairyTas website.

Pictured: Dairy farmer David Risbey-Pearn, a finalist of the 2019 ANZ Dairy Business of the Year Award.