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Award recognises country’s top agricultural consultants

24 April 2014

Award recognises country’s top agricultural consultants

The hunt is on again for New Zealand’s top dairy, sheep and beef agricultural consultants and emerging rural professional with the opening of the Farmax Consultant of the Year Awards on 1 May.

This year’s award winners will be announced at the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management’s (NZIPIM) annual conference in Hamilton on 4 August.

The awards comprise three major categories which are the DairyNZ Dairy Consultant of the Year, the Beef + Lamb NZ Sheep and Beef Consultant of the Year, and the NZIPIM Emerging Rural Professional of the Year.

Alongside these awards, the NZX Agri Farmer’s Choice Award is a new category in 2014 which gives farmers an opportunity to nominate and acknowledge a consultant of high standing within the farming community.

Farmax general manager Gavin McEwen said the Farmax awards, now in its second year, recognises the expertise and value agricultural consultants and rural professionals provide to the New Zealand pastoral farming industry.

“Agricultural consultants and rural professionals not only promote excellence in pastoral farming in New Zealand, but through their advice and skills contribute directly to New Zealand’s bottom-line. That contribution isn’t always recognised.

“This year the awards have significant support of the industry through DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, NZIPIM and NZX Agri, who have come on board as major sponsors because they also recognise the importance of professional advisors to our industry and the country’s pastoral farming performance.”

The $20,000 award prize pool for the top three categories includes a paid overseas study trip, funds for professional development and funds to take paid hours off work to complete a project or initiative that will be of benefit to the pastoral farming industry.

Last year’s inaugural winners were Hasting’s consultant John Cannon, Hawke’s Bay AgFirst Consultant Ben Harker and Dunedin AbacusBio consultant Simon Glennie.

McEwen said the awards are open entry for all consultants and emerging rural professionals, who can put forward their names for the top three categories or they can be nominated by a client or colleague.

“Entry criteria includes a written brief about the consultant, including a description about how they would use the 40 hours funded research to benefit the pastoral industry. Interviews will also be held with a range of farmers who work with the award entrants to assess their expertise and skills,” said McEwen.

The judging panel for the awards includes representatives from DairyNZ, Beef+ Lamb NZ, NZIPIM, NZX Agri and Farmax.

Award nominations can be downloaded from the Farmax website from 1 May Applications close on 31 May.

The winners will be announced at the NZIPIM annual conference in Hamilton on the evening 4 August at the Hamilton Airport Hotel.

About Farmax
Commercially launched in 1993, Farmax was developed by AgResearch and born out of 20 years of research. It is an evidence-based software system giving farmers the advantage of accurately modelling complex pastoral farming systems.

About the Farmax Consultant of the Year Awards

Consultants are nominated by self, peers or farmers.

Nominations open on 1 May and close 31 May.

Presented on the evening of 4 August at NZIPIM conference dinner being held at Hamilton Airport Hotel

Judges include:
• Gavin McEwen, Farmax General Manager
• Sponsor representative Dairy NZ – Dairy Consultant of Year
• Sponsor representative Beef + Lamb NZ - Sheep and Beef Consultant of the Year
• Sponsor representative NZIPIM – Emerging Rural Professional of the Year
• Sponsor representative NZX Agri – Farmer’s Choice Award

Criteria for dairy, beef and sheep consultants and emerging professional awards includes:
• 500 - 1,000 word written brief from the nominator
• Supported by a submission from the nominated consultant on how they would use their time on a project or initiative of benefit to the pastoral industry., including names of farmer clients (see next bullet point)
• Formalised feedback from farmers who the consultant works with (via electronic survey).
• Prize for each category includes funded research hours, funds for professional development, an overseas study trip and a 12 month subscription to either one of NZX Agri’s Farmgate products (magazine and weekly report for sheep & beef or dairy).
Criteria for Farmer’s Choice award:
• Farmer nominates consultant summarising in 50 words or less why they should be selected for the Farmer’s Choice Award.
• Prize is a 12 month subscription to either one of NZX Agri’s Farmgate products (Magazine and weekly report for sheep & beef or dairy) for both the nominator and nominee.


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