Revival of a beauty pageant

The Ford Falcon ute rips up the driveway with a loud crunch of gravel. Out jumps Miss Raymond Hicks Contracting, aka April Schroder, dressed in faded red-and-white stubbies, Swanndri shirt and gumboots, tailed by Ava the rottweiler.

Schroder, 23, looks the unlikeliest of beauty contestants. Together with fiance Bernie Cox she runs this Carterton dairy farm in the Tararua foothills. It's afternoon milking time  she pulls on overalls and clomps into the milking shed, manicured nails clamping suction cups on the first of 310 Friesians.