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Chch Farmer/Restaurateurs Win Top Lincoln Farming



ATTENTION: Editor/Chief Reporter

ENTREPRENEURIAL Christchurch couple Brent and Shirley Rawstron are the 1999 Lincoln University Foundation Rabobank Farmers of the Year.

They won the title and a $7500 overseas travel scholarship from a field of six finalists at Lincoln University today (7.12.99). Temuka processed vegetable growers Murray and Margaret Turley were runners- up and eco-tourism/high country farming partnership Gerry McSweeney and Anne Saunders and Paul and Ann Jarman were third.

The category for this year's competition, the 17th year the competition has been held, was Excellence in Innovation, defined as the development and/or implementation of a new production process or management technique rogramme, or a new selling marketing approach, or a combination of these.

The aim was to acknowledge farmers who have recognised opportunities to break free from traditional methods of commodity production by responding positively to changing market demands and circumstances.

The Rawstrons, of Rossendale Wines, Halswell, farm 130 hectares and have been innovative in the production and marketing of specialist beef to one of the world's leading delicatessens, Dallmayrs, in Munich, Germany. They also sell Rossendale Wine directly through their own restaurant and as part of the Cellars of Canterbury group. Murray and Margaret Turley of Temuka, are part of the Turley family partnership which includes Murray's parents Alan and Margaret, and they farm a total of 2676 hectares spread over three properties - at Temuka, Rangitata and Pendarves. They are one of the largest processed vegetable growers in the South Island.

Gerry McSweeney and Anne Saunders, and Paul and Ann Jarman, of Cora Lynn Station and the Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass, have brought together a fully integrated farming and tourism operation with guests able to discover wild nature and the culture of a working high country sheep station.

The National Manager of principal sponsors Rabobank, Bryan Inch, described the public presentations by the six finalists at Lincoln University today as "inspirational". He said the 1999 award had provided examples of farmers performing "very well and better than a lot of businesses in New Zealand".




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