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South Island Farmer of the Year competition opens for 2015

South Island Farmer of the Year competition opens for 2015


MEDIA RELEASE – 21 05 2015

Nominations & entries open for South Island Farmer of the Year

Nominations and entries are open for the 2015 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition, and organisers are hoping for another record year.

Foundation Chair Ben Todhunter says, “Last year we had record entries followed by the most popular winner’s field day in the history of the competition when more than 400 people turned up to tour Patoa Farms.”

The competition offers a top prize of a $20,000 travel grant to undertake further farm study or pursue farm business opportunities, plus four $5000 awards for the best performers in specific areas such as resource management, consumer awareness, innovation and human resource management.

Todhunter says the Lincoln University Foundation and competition sponsors will be focusing this year on at least matching, if not improving on, last year’s high quality entries.

“One of the keys to getting good numbers and a high quality of entries is nominations,” Todhunter says.

“Traditionally it has been hard to get farmers to put their own hand up, but when they’re nominated that seems to take the ‘tall poppy’ factor out of it and they let their nomination go forward.

“We’re looking for leadership, innovation and farming excellence, which can be found equally in small family-owned farm businesses and within large commercial agricultural entities.”

Todhunter says previous entrants are also encouraged to re-enter.

“The experience of entering can itself be very valuable,” he says, “because of the farm business evaluation all entrants receive. They can use the feedback provided to work on their business and re-enter in subsequent years to see if the improvements made can get them through to the finals.”

Nominations and/or entries are open now and close on 1 August 2015 (see www.lincolnuniversityfoundation.org.nz for nomination/entry forms.

Judging will occur during September/October with the finals at Lincoln University in November. The competition is open to any form of primary production farm business including agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and aquaculture.

ENDS

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