Not bad for a shearer, some might say.

That's John Cannon, a Scotsman who gave up the global lifestyle of travelling shearer 30 years ago to settle in New Zealand, and, as it happened, start a collection of awards in farming and farm consultancy.

There was the Wairarapa Farmer of the Year title in 1997, the 2013 Farmax North Island Farm Consultant of the Year Award, and now the Bayleys Primary Sector Professional of the Year acclaim he received last month on farming's big night out at Showgrounds Hawke's Bay.

Cannon established Challenge Consultancy after moving to Hawke's Bay 12 years ago, and specialises in agribusiness, providing both strategic and operational advice across a client base of 600,000 stock units.


Clients include Northern Hawke's Bay farmer David Danks, who won the Silver Fern Farms Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year title and three other winners of the major title over the last seven years.

The award category covers specifically individuals who provide professional services to the Hawke's Bay primary sector that improve the economic and social sustainability of the area.

Cannon said: "It's nice to be recognised. I was very humbled to go up on that stage."

"It's truly exciting to see my clients achieve," he said.

"That's something I'm very proud of. When you work with good people it rubs off on to you.

"You've got to enjoy what you do; over time you get to know your clients well, many I've had for over 10 years. Consultancy is a people job based on mutual trust."

As part of the award he was cited as showing an outstanding contribution in the primary sector, from doing the hard yards himself as an immigrant to implementing his skills and knowledge across the sector.

"Farming is always changing, meaning consultancy is always evolving and adapting to these changes, whether it be climatic, markets, environmental or social issues," he said.

"There is never a dull moment in this job."

He says nothing would be possible without the support of wife Robyn and his five children "who put up with me working long hours".