Tim Aitken and Lucy Robertshawe from Tikokino in Central Hawkes Bay have won the international section of the Marks & Spencer’s Farming for the Future Award.
Tim and Lucy farm in the Central Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand and won our International Farming for the Future award this year. They have around 600 breeding hinds on their deer farm and rear the offspring for venison meat, which is sold to M&S.
They purchased the farm in 1994 and since then have spent a lot of time and effort improving the fertility of the soil to improve productivity. They have also planted shelterbelts and enhanced wetlands on the farm. In addition, they are at the forefront of the venison industry in NZ, getting involved in research and innovation to improve farm efficiency and product quality. Tim and Lucy are actively involved in the local farming community, hosting farm visits for other farmers as well as the local secondary school.
The international section is open to any suppliers outside the UK and winning it is an achievement in itself. But they could do even better with our help.
Winning that section puts them in the running for the Champion of Champions Award which is decided by public vote.
They explain in an email:
“To us this is our chance to represent New Zealand. Our tilt at the World Cup. Our Olympic campaign if you will. We would love to put on a great challenge. GO THE GUMBOOTS!”
They’re up against the UK section winners – English farmer Bill Cowperthwaite, Scottish farmer Gary Jamieson, Nigel McMullen from Ireland and Welsh farmer David Phillips.
They’ve got the local advantage and population numbers are on their side but you could help them.
Please pop over here and vote for Tim and Lucy – and New Zealand.