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Maori Farmers Test Skills

Maori Farmers Test Skills

The hunt is on for the country’s top Maori Farmer.

Judging has now begun of the 13 entries received for this years’ Maori Farmer of the Year contest, run by Meat & Wool New Zealand to promote excellence in Maori farming.

This is the third year since the competition was re-launched, but only the second time a national title will have been awarded.

Kapenga M Trust who farm a property near Rotorua took the national title in 2003, but no title was awarded last year because of disastrous floods in parts of the North Island.

Maori Farmer of the Year chairman, Bob Cottrell expects this years’ competition to be a hard fought one.

“We’ve received high quality entries from farmers operating under a range of farming conditions and at differing stages of development from across the three regions.”

Bob Cottrell says the judging panel consists of farming professionals from the competitions sponsors, AgResearch, the Bank of New Zealand, Williams & Kettle and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, along with Maori judges with experience in both governance and management, all components of running a successful farming business.

“The judging panel is split into a four person team for each region. This will give them the opportunity to spend at least half a day at each farm to gain a good overview of the business.”

Cottrell says the regional winners are expected to be announced during March and field days on the winning properties will be held in May.

“Once the regional winners have been announced later this month, the competition will shift its focus from the regional competition to finding the national winner who will be awarded the Ahuwhenua Trophy and prizes to the value of $30,000” he said.

Each entrant will also receive a detailed benchmarking report comparing their property with others regionally and nationally.

Meat & Wool New Zealand is a major sponsor of the event along with the Bank of New Zealand, AgResearch and Te Puni Kokiri. (Gold sponsors)

Williams & Kettle, Merial, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Blue Wing Honda (Silver sponsors)

The AFFCO Group, AgriQuality, Landcorp and PPCS-Richmond (Bronze sponsors)

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