A group of Hawke's Bay farmers are delighted to have been acknowledged for their drought-themed photography.

The photo competition was set up by Maraekakaho farmer Poppy Renton.

Founder of Facebook page Hawke's Bay Drought, the 19-year-old challenged group' members to capture anything from sunrises to feeding out to demonstrate the struggles facing the region's farmers.

Stephanie Carter was crowned champion of the competition for her photograph depicting a farmer's want for rain.

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The Wanstead farmer said she wasn't expecting the picture, which features her husband and two children, to take top spot.

"It was a big and total surprise to have won. We were all thrilled as there were so many incredible photos out there," she said.

"The photo was taken while we were out on the farm as a family fixing a trough.

"We watched the stormy-looking clouds in the distance – but sadly they did not bring us any rain."

Patoka-based farmer Sally Cockerill-Newall took second place for her photo of her sons Charlie and Oscar trying to spot deer in the mist. Photo / Sally Cockerill-Newall
Patoka-based farmer Sally Cockerill-Newall took second place for her photo of her sons Charlie and Oscar trying to spot deer in the mist. Photo / Sally Cockerill-Newall

Sally Cockerill-Newall, based in Patoka, took second place for her photo of her sons Charlie, 8, and Oscar, 6, trying to spot deer on a misty morning.

"Charlie was helping Oscar to spot a deer grazing on our winter kale crop in the mist," she said.

"During lockdown we have spent many mornings looking for deer.

"It has been a tough few months on the farm, financially and mentally. We are buying in feed and have altered our normal farming practices completely to be able to look after our animals."

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Cockerill-Newall said mornings spent hunting and deer spotting with her boys provided welcome relief from the daily grind of farming during a drought.

"We've also set up a Facebook page during lockdown called Kiwi Country Kids and we posted the photo on there," she said.

"My aim for the page is to just educate the non-farming community about the reality of life on a farm in New Zealand and provide a connection to the land and where food comes from."

Susan Lorenz was given third prize for her photo of her dog looking across a vast amount of dry Hawke's Bay land.

Renton said picking a winner and runners-up was not easy for her and her family.

"Everyone who entered the drought photo competition made it very hard," she said.

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"Myself, my mum and my dad took more than an hour to decide a winner.

"It was all done in a way so we couldn't see who had taken the photos – I screenshot every one so we couldn't see their names."

Renton said she started the now-acclaimed Facebook page to create a support network for farmers to provide advice, communicate and share their stories and experiences.

Prizes for the winners of the competition include signed Magpies jerseys, T-shirts from Kells Wool and more.

Renton also announced that she was in the process of setting up a givealittle page to help the region's most in need farmers.