An epic fundraising battle between Affco and The Country has proved a winner for this year's Movember campaign.
Movember aims to raise funds for men's mental and physical health, through participants either growing a moustache or getting active for the cause.
In 2011 The Country raised the most money in New Zealand with an impressive $25,000. This year the team was keen to beat that effort.
Already off to a great start with a generous $2500 donation from meat processing company Affco, The Country's Movember campaign went from strength to strength, mainly spurred on by team members' highly competitive nature.
This attitude proved infectious, inspiring Affco to break off and form its own Movember team to give The Country a run for its money.
The friendly rivalry paid off and by 9am on December 1, The Country has raised a whopping $82,256 while Affco racked up a very respectable $37,686.
The good news doesn't stop there either, as Affco has pledged to match its team's final result - dollar for dollar.
This generosity means the meat processing company's fundraising isn't over yet, as it will be officially tallied at the end of Movember on December 10.
Affco's national livestock manager Tom Young wanted to thank all the people "who put their hand in their pocket" for his team's Movember effort.
"It's been everyone, from our clients, or the people we process stock through, to friends of our livestock buyers ... we've even had a donation from Foodstuffs - one of the companies we sell meat to," he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"We've gone far and wide to try and raise a few bucks for the cause and we're pretty happy with the result."
While not everyone was a fan of growing a moustache, (especially Mackay) it was worth the discomfort, Movember founder Rob Dunne said.
"There's no such thing as a bad moustache," Dunne told Mackay.
"They're our conversation starter. They're pretty much our main marketing asset. It's the main tool we've got to get a conversation going around men's health."
Dunne was pleased to report those conversations were becoming more frequent since the days when Movember began.
"Many years ago when I started with Movember it was pretty tough to get a conversation going around mental health but these days we've seen that completely flip on its head."
The support from "all sorts" within the agricultural sector, including Farmstrong, DairyNZ, Affco, Fonterra and Young Farmers, was invaluable, Dunne said.
Their efforts had helped Movember get its message out to farmers, a group of people who were traditionally hard to reach, he said.
"To see that change in behaviour amongst potentially what is our staunchest demographic of New Zealanders gives me a lot of hope that we're pushing in the right direction."
This year's Movember was shaping up to be the best yet, which was impressive considering the Covid-19 effect, Dunne said.
"I feel really lucky because it hasn't been easy for the last 12 or 18 months, it's a significant time in our history, but to still have people be able to think of us and support us is pretty amazing."
Dunne was particularly impressed with The Country and Affco for working together to raise funds for Movember and men's health.
"I really do appreciate the way Affco have supported you guys and it's a pretty phenomenal campaign that they've had."
November may be over but Movember's fundraising period will run until December 10