Jordan Biddle, 21, was the winner of the 2017 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award.
Te Tumu Paeroa CEO Jamie Tuuta announced the winner at the Ahuwhenua Trophy awards dinner in Whangarei on Friday.
Bright future for award winner
Jordan Biddle, Ngāti Pahauwera, is a shepherd on Pihanui Station, south of Wairoa, owned by Ngāti Pahauwera.
When he was at school Jordan had little inkling that he'd make farming his career choice. But this occurred when he started working part time on farms when he was just fifteen, doing odd jobs such as fencing. The breakthrough came two years later when he was offered a permanent role at Waitaha Station in northern Hawke's Bay. Two years later he moved to his present role at Pihanui Station.
More than 700 guests attended the event, including Prime Minister Bill English, and other dignitaries.
The other two finalists in the competition were 21 year old Dylan Ruki-Fowlie, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, who works as a General Shepherd on Tawanui Station, south of Raetihi; and Hemoata Kopa, also 21, of Ngāpuhi (Matawaia) who works as a General Shepherd on Pukemiro Station, near Dannevirke.
Recognising talented Māori farmers
The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award was first held in 2012. It aims to recognises talented young Māori farmers. It aims to recognises talented young Māori farmers. It's also intended to encourage young Māori to make farming as a career and as a showcase to prospective employers.
Since its origins, the event's created a lot of interest. It's also given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All have gone on to greater things since winning this event.
An agribusiness role model
Lead Judge, Peter Little, says it's never easy to select a winner from three finalists. Little says Jordan exemplified all that's good about young Māori — carving out a career in the primary sector. He says Jordan's shown great commitment to his work and excellent leadership. He'll do a great job as a role model for other young Māori contemplating a career in the agribusiness sector.
Little says every day, there are new opportunities for young Māori. He says the training undertaken by the finalists has helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provided an excellent platform from which they can progress to senior positions within the industry.
Te Tumu Paeroa are sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Trophy and the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award.