Federated Farmers presented its annual awards to farming leaders last night:
The awards recognise the hard work of those in the agriculture sector and the ceremony acts as a stage for the recipients to be celebrated on, says Fed’s national president Katie Milne.
“What we’ve seen this year has just been tremendous. Incredible talent. The work that goes on out there in the community is just non-stop so to have the awards is a great way to say thank you and to encourage initiative.”
The awards winners are as follows:
The Outstanding Advocacy Award recipient is Motueka’s Gavin O’Donnell.
The award recognises the hard work of a member that through their tenacity and drive positively affected national or regional policy for the benefits of our farmers.
Gavin, a former head of Nelson Federated Farmers, was nominated for his skills at influencing and communicating the ‘good news’ stories.
The Innovator of the Year Award recipients are Palmerston North’s James Stewart and Mat Hocken.
Federated Farmers uses this award to highlight those who have invested time, effort and resources into finding smart ways to make New Zealand agriculture more efficient and effective.
They were nominated for their work in boosting connectivity. They are the founders of AgTech Hackathon, an initiative designed to link farmers with smarter on-farm solutions.
The Farming Message Award winner is Five Forks’s Lyndon Strang.
The award is for an individual who through writing, public speaking and other forms of media use has done a fantastic job sharing the importance of agriculture with New Zealand’s wider communities.
The primary reason for Lyndon’s nomination was the way he led by example in his area when it came implementing new farming practices, and when Mycoplasma bovis broke in South Canterbury, Lyndon was an approachable voice for local media and helped break down the technical gobbledygook surrounding the disease for the public.
The Federated Farmers Emerging Advocate Award recipient is Gore’s Bernadette Hunt.
The award celebrates an up-and-coming member who champions the needs of their fellow farmers, and is a positive role model for other young farmers with clear goals for the future of the industry.
Bernadette was nominated because of her outstanding contribution in the lead role for Southland during the M. bovis outbreak.
She also liaised with the Ministry for Primary Industries over declaring a medium scale adverse event due the extended period of dry conditions.
The Federated Farmers Columnist of the Year Award goes to Marton’s Richard Morrison.
The award is the organisation’s chance to thank someone who has made an ongoing effort to communicate the work of the entire group to the wider population through regular column writing for a national, regional or local publication.
Richard puts together thoughtful and often thought-provoking columns that would resonate with thousands of readers – both urban and rural.
The Federated Farmers Provincial Service Award winner is Timaru’s Bob Douglas.
The award recognises the unsung heroes of the provinces who year after year, decade after decade, have contributed to the smooth running of the province and provided outstanding service.
After almost 20 years working as South Canterbury’s provincial secretary and treasurer Bob Douglas has had his years of service recognized.
Bob is known for schooling countless emerging local Federated Farmers’ leaders in meeting protocol, teaches them debating skills and the rights of the Chair.
The Federated Farmers Outstanding Contribution to Federated Farmers Award went to Masterton’s Anders Crofoot.
The award recognises a member who works to promote our advocacy organisation and the agriculture industry by championing the needs of their fellow farmers.
Anders has shown tremendous skill in initiating successful mediation and dissecting the daunting Resource Management Act.
He has also contributed to the national advocacy work of Federated Farmers serving six years on the board. He has an ability to talk to people of all backgrounds and make information accessible to everyone.
The Federated Farmers Membership Growth Award went to Wanganui.
The award is to recognise the efforts of provinces who actively work to boost membership for Federated Farmers.
This is an outstanding achievement for a smaller province. But Wanganui was not the only team to perform well over the past year. There was exceptional work happening throughout the nation. A special thank you to the teams in Golden Bay, Tararua and the Waikato.