2017 Media Releases

Far North Farms Wins Ahuwhenua Trophy

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award Winner

Another successful field day - Pukepoto Farm Trust

Great Ahuwhenua Trophy field day - Puketawa Station

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award Finalists

Great Ahuwhenua Trophy field day - Omapere Rangihamama Trust

2017 Finalists Announcement

Omapere Rangihamama Trust

RA & JG King Partnership - Puketawa Station

Pukepoto Farm Trust

Ahuwhenua Trophy Entries Open

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award Finalists

MEDIA RELEASE - 26 April 2017

The three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award have just been announced. They were selected from a number of entrants from around the country. They are:

Dylan Ruki-Fowlie, 21, of Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi descent who works as a General Shepherd on Tawanui Station, south of Raetihi, owned by the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.

Jordan Biddle, 21, of Ngāti Pahauwera descent who is a shepherd on Pihanui Station, Cricklewood Road, south of Wairoa, owned by Ngāti Pahauwera.

Hemoata Kopa, 21, of Ngāpuhi (Matawaia) descent who works as a General Shepherd on Pukemiro Station just out of Dannevirke, owned by ADB Williams Trust. This property has a significant association with Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.

The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award was first held in 2012 and is designed to recognise talented up-and-coming young Māori farmers. It is also designed to encourage young Māori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists within Māori.

Since its inception, the event has created interest within and outside Māoridom and has given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All have gone on to greater things since winning this event.

The Young Māori Farmer Award runs in tandem with the main annual Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for the top sheep and beef or dairy farmer of the year. And the winner is announced during the same awards dinner in Whangarei on Friday 26th May.

Lead judge Peter Little says it is never an easy task to select three finalists given the pool of young Māori who in a short space of time are making great progress in their careers in agriculture. Peter Little says the training undertaken by the finalists have helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provide an excellent platform for them to progress to senior positions within the industry. The farming sector needs talented, motivated young people and this Award is about recognising their achievements thus far, but also showcasing to other young people the great career opportunities that are awaiting them in the primary sector.


Profile: Dylan Ruki-Fowlie

Dylan Ruki-Fowlie, of Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi descent is right at home on Tawanui Station, south of Raetihi, owned by the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.

He was born in Raetihi and went to college in Whanganui. When he left college he worked at a meat works and later at a steel mill in Auckland, but he found working inside all day not to his liking and ended up back in Raetihi working on the land. This came about when he was awarded an Atihau training scholarship during 2016, where he was the top student. Incidentally, Dylan is a shareholder in the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.

Tawanui Station is a 1400 hectare (effective) block and its main role is breeding both sheep and cattle. It winters 9200 Romney breeding ewes. While a Romney ram is run over the main breeding flock, a Suffolk/Texel cross is put to the older ewes, hogget’s and two tooths. The 380 breeding cows are mostly purebred Angus.

The country is easy rolling but with some steep rugged country. It has good farm tracks and for most of the year quad bikes can be used to get around the farm, but in winter horses are used as the tracks start to get a bit harder for the farm vehicles.

As a General Shepherd, Dylan gets to do a variety of tasks on the farm. He especially enjoys the physical nature of the work and he finds that he can easily adapt to the different tasks he’s allocated to. Although he’s only been in the farming sector for a short time Dylan says he really loves the work and the lifestyle.

In terms of recreation, Dylan plays in the local rugby team and is keen on hunting and fishing. He is competing in Pa Wars next year.

In looking to the future, Dylan is studying level 4 at the local marae every Wednesday and plans to study Level 5 National Diploma in Agribusiness Management next year. His goal is to become a Head Shepherd and a Manager within Atihau and possibly going to university to do a business degree.

He says he’s delighted at the faith people have in him by encouraging him to enter the YMFY competitor. Dylan says already it has helped him realise his potential.


Profile: Jordan Biddle

Twenty one year old Jordan Biddle, of Ngāti Pahauwera descent, is employed as a Shepherd on Pihanui Station south of Wairoa. The 2000 hectare (1200 ha effective) hill country farm is owned by Ngāti Pahauwera and mainly a breeding block but also does some finishing. They run 500 Angus cows and 2300 FE tolerant ewes that have just been brought in along with 2200 Romdale breeding ewes.

Jordan is completing his qualifications through the ITO and this together with his own passion for farming has enabled him to take on extra responsibilities. For example, he stepped into a management role on the farm for eight months until a new farm manager was appointed.

When he was at school Jordan had little inkling that he would make farming his career choice. But this occurred when he started working part time on farms when he was just fifteen, doing odd jobs such as fencing. The breakthrough came two years later when he was offered a permanent role at Waitaha Station in northern Hawke’s Bay. Two years later he moved to his present role at Pihanui Station.

He was born in Raupunga where his father worked in the forestry industry and this shaped his love of the outdoors and ultimately a career in farming. As part of his current role he is helping Tana a junior shepherd on the farm, to develop his all round farming skills such as fencing, pasture management and stockmanship.

This is something that Jordan likes and says he is working hard to get other young people in the area interested in farming because it is such a good industry. Jordan loves the farming life – especially the horse and dog work. He owns three horses, six working dogs and two pig dogs and as you might expect he likes to go hunting. He also plays rugby and enjoys fishing and diving.

He admits that he was persuaded to enter the AMF awards and says so far, it’s been a great and enjoyable experience.


Profile: Hemoata Kopa

Hemoata Kopa, of Ngāpuhi (Matawaia) descent is a Junior/General Shepherd on Pukemiro Station just out of Dannevirke which is owned by ADB Williams Trust.

The farm has a special relationship with Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre which has brought twenty one year old Hemoata into regular contact with students from Taratahi. The farm is again steep to rolling, flat country on which runs approximately 5300 ewes and 150 Hereford Friesian Cross cows, the majority of which are mated to Simmental or Charolais bulls and progeny are kept for fattening.

While Romney rams are put over the maternal flock a Lamb Supreme or Suffolk is put over the older ewes and all mated hoggets are mated to a terminal sire as well.

Hemoata comes from a small Northland place called Matawaia with the nearest town being Moerewa where she had her first taste of farming helping her grandfather on his small block where he ran about 100 cows. After leaving school, Hemoata went to Taratahi in 2014 and since then has passed her National Certificate in Agriculture Sheep and Beef level three and four and Massey Diploma in Agriculture level five. Two years ago, she was also a finalist in the AYMF Award.

The outdoor life appeals to Hemoata and she enjoys the multiplicity of tasks she is given in her role as a Junior/General Shepherd. She especially likes working with the Taratahi students whom she helps hone their practical skills in areas such as fencing, stock movement and feeding, positioning, team work, communication, life skills. In her spare time, she trains her pups, goes horse riding and as has taken up boxing fitness. She has just joined Young Farmers.

Hemoata says she wants to advance her career in farming by working on different farms and doing more study with the goal of becoming a farm manager or owning her own farm. She also wants to be a role model for other young people and to make them aware of the great jobs there are in the sector.

A finalist in the Award two years ago Hemoata says she entered again because she loves to challenge herself. She says since the last event she has had more training and networking and this helped give her confidence.

For further information contact Peter Burke, 021 224 2184 email peterb@actrix.co.nz