Māori sheep and beef farmers are being urged to enter the 2022 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition.
The competition is designed to recognise excellence in Māori farming and was initiated in 1933 by Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time, Lord Bledisloe.
The competition offered a unique opportunity for individual Māori farmers, trusts and incorporations to showcase their excellent farming enterprises, to both Māori and the wider farming sector, Chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee which runs the competition, Nuku Hadfield, said.
To mark the official launch of the competition, the Ahuwhenua Trophy was welcomed and displayed at the at Red Meat Sector Conference dinner attended by the Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor, and close to 200 delegates.
Hadfield spoke at the conference, where she said Māori contributed more than 15 per cent of red meat exports and had done much to expand and develop their farming operations, both in terms of sustainability and profitability.
Previous participants in the competition said it was an invaluable exercise, and they gained unique feedback through the judging process, Hadfield said.
The time and effort in entering the Ahuwhenua Trophy was more than made up for by the benefits – including becoming a finalist and winning the award, Hadfield said.
Andrew Morrison, Chair of Beef+Lamb New Zealand said it was exciting to launch the competition at the Red Meat Sector Conference.
Having the trophy on display to such a large and influential gathering helped raise the profile of the event, he said.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand was proud to be a Gold sponsor of the awards and hoped the launch would help attract Māori farmers and organisations to enter the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition and motivate other companies to encourage their clients to enter.
Entries close on Friday December 10, and the winner will be announced at a gala dinner on Friday May 27, 2022, in Hawke's Bay.
The entry form and further details about the 2022 competition will be on the Ahuwhenua Trophy website in the next few weeks.