2019 Ahuwhenua Trophy Sheep and Beef Competition


First Round Judging:

Initial judging of this competition will occur during late January/early February 2019 when the finalists will be selected.

Prior to judging, the entrant will be contacted to make arrangements for the farm visit. This visit will take up to three hours and will include a tour of key farm features. The judging will relate solely to the sheep and beef components of the farm business. The Chair (or other elected representative), Supervisor and Manager are required to meet with the First Round Judges at the beginning of the visit. It is important to allocate your time wisely and to demonstrate clearly to the judges how your sheep and beef business meets the judging criteria outlined below.

Each finalist is required to hold a field day. Guidance and considerable financial assistance is provided to finalists to assist in staging the field day.

Finalist Judging:

The judging to select the winner from the finalists will take place in late March/early April. The process involves: 

•    The judges meet with the Chair and other members of the governance team on the day prior to the field day. The Farm Supervisor/Consultant and Manager may participate at owners’ discretion. This meeting will focus on governance, management and financial aspects and will include a farm visit. 

•    Judges continue their assessment through the field day and the content and standard of presentation during the field day will be taken into consideration.

Judging will be based on:

A.      The efficiency with which the property is farmed relative to its potential.  This will not be based solely on financial measures such as profit per hectare or return on business capital. These measures will be taken as a guide but consideration will also be given to other factors such as:


B.      Financial results where:


C.      The effectiveness of the farms governance procedures and initiatives, in areas that include:



The organisers note that in recent times a number of new measures have been introduced to assess the performance of farming and other businesses. These include:


In considering this the judges will utilise as a guideline the following weighting:


Max. Points awarded

Factors taken into account include the following (where possible judges will compare with industry benchmarks and best practice)

Governance and Strategy


  • Strong leadership
  • Good strategy
  • Implementation of strategy
  • Monitoring of strategy

Social / Community / Ngā Tikanga Māori


  • Contribution to, and participation in, communities of interest to the organisation; support for local
    hapū, marae, and wider local community
  • Governance or management team’s ability to include tikanga Māori in aspects of the business
  • Identification and protection of cultural sites

Management and performance

Financial and Benchmarking


  • Economic Farm Surplus (EFS)
  • GFR/HA
  • FWE as a % of GFR
  • Consistency over time
  • Wealth creation – Leveraging Asset Base, Internal Capital Investment/Development ROC
  • Understanding the Financials – Budgeting, Variance Reports, KPIs

Feed Production


  • Development and sustainability of soil fertility
  • Quality of permanent pastures (composition and nutritive value)
  • Forage crop yields and integrated use
  • Use of least cost supplements and tactical use of nitrogen
  • Feed budgeting and grazing plans

Animal Performance


  • Stock health and welfare
  • Genetic improvement
  • Reproductive and growth performance
  • Supply of products to market specifications
  • Purchasing and marketing skills

Human Resource


  • Employment agreements and job specifications
  • Performance review approach
  • Training support and career development
  • Team culture and attitude
  • Health and safety plans and implementation

Environment / Sustainability Goals and Strategies


  • Environmental plans in place
  • Environmental plans are being implemented
  • Environmental performance is being monitored and promoted
  • Biodiversity is being enhanced
  • Any innovative technologies/processes/tools and practices are being implemented and monitored






Judges will make their decisions based on a number of factors including the points allocated in the judging criteria set out above. Accordingly entrants need to demonstrate, both in written material supplied and in their presentation on the day, that they are performing in relation to the criteria set out in the table above.

Feedback will be given by judges to entrants on the strengths and weaknesses of the farming business based on the information provided and their assessments on the days of judging.


Before the judges are appointed, they are required to declare any potential conflict of interest.

Where possible the judging panel will be made up of persons who are not participating in the competition but, where this is not feasible, a judge shall not participate in judging of a farm where he/she has interests associated with an entry. Likewise judges shall not participate in the judging of the winner if they have an interest in one of the finalists. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.