Judging has started in the 2014 LU Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition and the final will be held at Lincoln University in November.
Foundation Chairman and Lincoln alumnus Ben Todhunter (BCom(Ag) 1991) reports a wide variety of entries were received for the competition, now in its 29th year, with meat, wool and dairy dominating the range of farm types. Canterbury, Otago and Southland were well represented.
The competition is about leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship in farming, and it champions people who can contribute to the development of New Zealand’s land-based industries. Innovation is a particularly important theme. The overall winner receives a $20,000 travel/study grant to further their business and finalists are also up for four $5000 special category prizes; the BNZ award for Human Resource Management, the Silver Ferns Farms ‘Plate to Pasture’ award, the Lincoln University prize for Technology and Innovation, and the Farmlands Cooperative prize for Resource Use Efficiency.
The Lincoln University Foundation uses the competition to improve the performance of farming generally by promoting the knowledge and lessons that can be learned from the stories and experiences of the finalists and winners.
Last year’s competition was won by winemakers Peter and Val Yealands. The runner-up team of Andrew, Karen and Sam Simpson of Balmoral Station, Tekapo, has Lincoln University connections with father Andrew and son Sam both being alumni.