The three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award have been announced. They were selected from a number of entrants from across the country.
Dylan Ruki-Fowlie, 21, of Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi descent who works as a General Shepherd on Tawanui Station, south of Raetihi, owned by the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.
Jordan Biddle, 21, of Ngāti Pahauwera descent who is a shepherd on Pihanui Station, Cricklewood Road, south of Wairoa, owned by Ngāti Pahauwera.
Hemoata Kopa, 21, of Ngāpuhi (Matawaia) descent who works as a General Shepherd on Pukemiro Station just out of Dannevirke, owned by ADB Williams Trust. This property has a significant association with Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.
Recognising talented young Māori farmers
Te Tumu Paeroa are sponsors of the Young Māori Farmer Award which runs alongside the main Ahuwhenua Trophy competition each year. The award was first held five years ago and recognises talented up-and-coming young Māori farmers. It's also designed to encourage young Māori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists.
The event has created a lot of buzz and has given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All previous winners have gone on to greater things in the industry.
Lead judge Peter Little says the training undertaken by the finalists has helped them establish themselves in good jobs. It's also provided them with an excellent platform to progress to senior positions within the industry.
"The farming sector needs talented, motivated young people and this Award is about recognising their achievements thus far. But also showcasing to other young people the great career opportunities that are awaiting them in the primary sector" says Little.
The winner will be announced at the Ahuwhenua Awards dinner held in Whangarei on Friday 26 May.