8 November 2013
Entries to the Young Māori Farmer of the Year Award 2014 are now open following the announcement at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Hastings on Saturday 2 November 2013.
The competition – coming up to its third year – was established in 2012 and has become an exciting addition to the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award. It alternates each year between dairy and sheep and beef farming, giving deserving young Māori the opportunity to be recognised for their achievements. This year the award is targeted at dairy farmers.
Sponsored by Primary ITO, Te Tumu Paeroa (on behalf of the Māori Soldiers Trust) and Allflex, the aim of this award is to empower young farmers and encourage their personal development and growth. For the inaugural Young Māori Dairy Farmer of the Year winner, Tangaroa Walker, the outcome has been significant.
“I have always been passionate about dairy farming but since winning the Ahuwhenua award I’ve been shown a lot of other areas that I am interested in as well. I’ve learned a lot about business. It puts you in a different bracket. All of a sudden I wasn’t just talking to farmers but to bank managers and CEO’s. When I attended the FoMA conference people were coming up and talking to me about how they can help me get ahead,” Tangaroa says.
He continues, “Only about a month after the award I was offered a huge opportunity working for a farm owner of 950 cows with a 300 hectare run off, which I accepted. I also had a few other job offers as well.”
Since his accolade in 2012, Tangaroa has also been enjoying speaking at industry events, especially those that aim to encourage and help young people get ahead.
“I enjoy helping young people so none of it is work to me. It’s like my hobby. I am also now on the board of the South Island Dairy Event so they can ask me questions about how to attract young kiwis to the industry,” he says.
Tangaroa has also been invited to apply for a Nuffield Scholarship which he says is going to be life changing.
The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Dairy Farmer of the Year competition is open to Māori aged 16-25 years who are employed on a dairy farm and currently enrolled in or have completed a National Certificate in Agriculture Level 3 or higher in the last year.
Applications are open until 14 February 2014 and the winner will be announced at the awards dinner in Tauranga in June next year.