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Dairying Experts to Judge Ahuwhenua Trophy

Dairying Experts to Judge Prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy- BNZ Maori Excellence in Dairy Farming Competition

The judges for this year’s prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy - BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Dairy Awards have been announced.

The Chief Judge is long-time Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Doug Leeder. A former Chair of the “industry good” organisation, Dairy InSight, Doug Leeder has a strong interest in supporting sound governance practice within the sector. He has been Chief Judge of the Ahuwhenua Dairy competition since 2006

He says that although this year’s competition will have a particular focus on environmental issues the fundamental purpose of the competition is to highlight governance and management features that generate profit and business growth.

The other judges are:

• Dr Tanira Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngati Awa) - senior lecturer in agricultural systems, Massey University and science strategist (Maori) with AgResearch. Tanira is an agricultural economist with extensive experience in working with Maori economic authorities throughout the country. He has held a number of appointments on Maori incorporations as well as developing and managing research programmes into Maori agribusiness performance, environmental management and land development. Tanira is also a director on the national board of Agriculture ITO.

• Denis Collins - DairyNZ’s Bay of Plenty and Coromandel regional team leader. Denis Collins is an expert in dairy farm systems who, along with his team of consultants, works with farmers to help them achieve their farm business goals. Based in Rotorua, Denis has considerable experience working with iwi in the Central Plateau. He previously judged the King Country Farmer of the Year and the Sharemilker and Farm Manager of the Year competitions.

• Sam Johnson – Managing Partner of BNZ’s Auckland North region. Sam Johnson is an experienced agribusiness manager and has a strong understanding of the Maori agricultural sector through his time as Agribusiness Regional Manager in the lower North Island and Senior Agribusiness Manager in Northland.

Mr Leeder said that it was heartening to note the strength of interest in the competition from farmers in Northland and the Central Plateau areas and great to see entrants from Taranaki and Manawatu.

Entrants will be tested on a range of factors based on the efficiency with which the property is farmed relative to its potential. These include effective governance and management, attention to environmental excellence and recognition of nga tikanga Maori (cultural practices) relevant to a farm business enterprise.

Initial judging for the competition will take place in early March. Field days will be held on the properties of the three finalists on April 22, April 29 and May 6 and the winner of the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Dairy Competition will be announced at a Gala Awards dinner will be held in Taupo on Friday May 28, 2010. Tickets for this event are available from Joan Nathu 04 819 9205 email: Joan.Nathu@MaoriTrustee.co.nz

The Bank of the New Zealand is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are AgResearch, Fonterra, Te Puni Kokiri, and DairyNZ. Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson, and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Bronze sponsors are MAF, Agriculture ITO, Maori Trustee, Yamaha, AFFCO and BDO. Supporting sponsors include Tohu Wines, Landcorp, Poutama, DB Breweries and Ecolab.

ENDS


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