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Search for top NZ rural consultants gets closer

For immediate release
9 June 2014

Search for top NZ rural consultants gets closer

Nominations for the annual Consultant of the Year Awards have closed and Farmax is one step closer to announcing this year’s top New Zealand dairy, sheep and beef, and emerging rural professionals.

Farmax general manager, Gavin McEwen, said the awards were developed last year to recognise the expertise and value agricultural consultants and rural professionals provide to the New Zealand pastoral farming industry, which often goes unnoticed.

“On a regular basis we see first-hand the invaluable service that rural professionals provide farmer clients with. The feedback we receive from farmers about their consultants is really uplifting. It shows just how much of a difference consultants can make to their clients’ businesses,” Mr McEwen said.

“The inaugural awards were a huge success last year and we have been equally as impressed with the quality and calibre of nominations put forward for this year’s awards. The number of nominations has tripled, indicating the awards are becoming better recognised,” he said.

The Consultant of the Year Awards categories are DairyNZ Dairy Consultant of the Year, Beef + Lamb NZ Sheep and Beef Consultant of the Year, and NZIPIM Emerging Rural Professional of the Year. Consultants were able to either self-nominate or be nominated by their advisors, colleagues and customers.

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

Mr McEwen says the judges are now deliberating and the finalists will be announced publicly in July.

Judges represent each of the awards sponsors and include: DairyNZ regional team manager, Craig McBeth; farmer and equity manager, Hamish Bielski; representing NZIPIM, ANZ agri retail manager, Graham Parker; Beef + Lamb New Zealand general manager - Farm, Richard Wakelin; a representative of the Ministry for Primary Industries; and Farmax general manager, Gavin McEwen.

“The agricultural industry has really got behind the awards this year, and we are very excited to have such a high calibre of sponsors supporting New Zealand consultants and rural professionals,” said Mr McEwen.

The winners of each category will be announced at the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM) conference awards dinner in Hamilton on 4 August.

Last year’s Consultant of the Year Awards winners were Hastings consultant, John Cannon; Dunedin AbacusBio consultant, Simon Glennie; and Hawke’s Bay AgFirst consultant, Ben Harker.

Nominations are still open for a fourth award, the new NZX Agri Farmers’ Choice Award that enables farmers to recognise a consultant who does an exceptional job for their peers, the community and the industry by voting on-line.


About Farmax:
Commercially launched in 2003, 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 one-third of New Zealand’s rural professionals are Farmax consultants.

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