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Māori dairy farmers’ turn in the Ahuwhenua Trophy spotlight

The excellence of Māori dairy farmers will be highlighted at next year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy, now open for entries.

The prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy showcases excellence in Māori farming, with either sheep and beef, horticulture or dairy the focus each year.

The 2024 competition will celebrate dairy farming operations, and Māori dairy farmers, entities and trusts are invited to apply before December 8, 2023. To enter, go to the Ahuwhenua Trophy website

Ahuwhenua Trophy Chair Nukuhia Hadfield says the competition is an excellent opportunity for Māori to showcase their dairy farming operations.

Māori dairy operators make a sizeable contribution to the Aotearoa economy, responsible for more than 10 per cent of the earnings of the dairy industry.

Hadfield and her husband Bart, sheep and beef farmers in Wairoa's Ruakituri Valley, have previously won the Ahuwhenua Trophy and she says it’s beneficial to all entrants – even if you don’t win.

“As part of the judging process, each farm is carefully evaluated by an experienced team of rural professionals and as part of the process they offer insightful comments that will benefit the owners. We certainly found this to be the case and others who have entered have said the same thing,” Hadfield says.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the country’s oldest farming competition, launched in 1933 by Sir Āpirana Ngata and, the then Governor General, Lord Bledisloe. It was established to nurture the growth and development of Māori in livestock farming and horticulture.

Te Tumu Paeroa has been a proud sponsor of the Ahuwhenua Trophy since 2009, and of the Young Māori Farmer/Grower Award since it started in 2012.

Te Tumu Paeroa’s Kaihautū Ratonga Whenua | Whenua Services Manager Sam Vivian-Greer says it’s a great opportunity for Māori dairy farmers to showcase the work they are doing.

“We know that Māori farmers are currently facing some challenges with the correction in the dairy payout and ongoing primary sector inflation, so it’s great to pause to reflect on some the amazing mahi that is happening around Aotearoa. We’re looking forward to hearing all about it at next year’s field days.”

The initial judging of entrants takes place early in the new year with the finalists announced at Parliament in late February. The finalists then stage field days during late March and early April. The winner of the competition will be announced at the awards dinner on Friday 17 May in Kirikiriroa.

Pictured: Te Puni Kōkiri's Cedric Nepia and DairyNZ's Jim Vanderpoel. 

To find out more and enter, go to the Ahuwhenua Trophy website

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