The champions of the Hawke's Bay primary sector have been celebrated for their success at a sell-out awards function at the Tomoana Showgrounds Hawke's Bay.
Among the major winners of The 2021 Napier Port Hawke's Bay Primary Sector Awards were Central Hawke's Bay's Andrew and Maddy McLean, who scooped the supreme Hawke's Bay Farming trophy - the Silver Fern Farms Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year.
Judges reported that despite farming in "extreme circumstances" was a reality for many in 2020, how the finalists navigated this crisis was of "significant interest" to the judges as they visited the properties.
The winning couple farm 885 hectares with simple bull and lamb trading systems alongside a ewe breeding operation.
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The farm's erosion control and sediment loss management has been established to protect the land over the long term and their succession process has seen the winners go from management to farm ownership.
The awards, organised by the Hawke's Bay A & P Society, was held on Thursday night.
General Manager Sally Jackson said the awards "contribute significantly to the primary industry across the region.
"This year marks the 50th year of the Silver Fern Farms Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year award and entrants across all categories have represented some of the finest and most innovative, industrious primary producers in the country and produce some of the highest quality food and fibre to be found anywhere in the world."
The 2021 winners:
•Silver Fern Farms Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year – Andrew and Maddy McLean
•Horticentre Trust Hawke's Bay Horticulturalist of the Year – R J Flowers Ltd
•Pan Pac Hawke's Bay Farm Forester of the Year – Mark Warren
•Hastings District Council Primary Sector Industry Leader of the Year – Kate Radburnd
•Unison Hawke's Bay Primary Sector Professional of the Year – Rex Newman
•BWR Hawke's Bay Primary Sector Innovation Award - MyEnviro
•Lawson Robinson Hawke's Bay Scholarship – William MacDonald
•Laurie Dowling Memorial Award – Marie Taylor
•Rural Directions Hawke's Bay Shepherd of the Year – To be announced at the Silver
Fern Farms Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year Field Day on the 13th May