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Rural champion: Local among B+LNZ finalists

THE finalists have been announced in the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Awards and one of them hails from Gisborne.

Rere farmer Sandra Matthews from Te Kopae Station, who was involved in the creation and development of Farming Women Tairāwhiti, has been named as a finalist in the Rural Champion category.

In the judging process, B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor said a team of judges scrutinised the hundred-plus entries in the eight award categories and after much deliberation, came up with a list of finalists.

“The overwhelming feedback from the judges was about the high quality of the entries. They also commented that it was a privilege to gain insight into the fantastic work going on behind the scenes in our sector.”

Mr McIvor said B+LNZ, along with award partner Farmlands and other sponsors, have been thrilled with the response they received for the awards in their first year.

“This is our first year, and the bar has been set high in terms of quality and quantity of entries.

“I did not envy the tough job the judges had in selecting finalists. Judges hope that many of those who were not named as finalists this year will enter again in the future.”

The winners will be announced at the awards dinner at the Napier War Memorial Centre on February 2, after Covid-19 alert levels forced the postponement of the awards dinner from the original date of October 20.

Mr McIvor said he hopes that all entrants, nominees, and nominators will join the finalists and sponsors at the awards dinner to celebrate New Zealand's red meat sector.

The finalists are: AgResearch Emerging Achiever Award — Cara Doggett (Wellsford), Estee Brown (Cambridge) and Luke Foster (Morrinsville).

Rabobank People Development Award — Agri-Women's Development Trust (Masterton), Coadette Lowe (Masterton) and NZ Rural Leadership Trust (Lincoln).

Alliance Significant Contribution Award — Bob Thomson (Te Awamutu), Professor Derrick Moot (Lincoln) and Dr David Stevens (Mosgiel).

FMG Rural Champion Award — Daniel Eb (Northland), Sandra Matthews (Tairāwhiti) and Meat the Need (Takaka).

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Science and Research Award — AgResearch Parasitology Team (Palmerston North), Lincoln University Dryland Pastures Research Group (Lincoln), Strategic Winter Grazing Research Team (Mosgiel).

Datamars Livestock Technology Award — Farmax Ltd (Hamilton), Knode (Hamilton), Silver Fern Farms Calf Booking app (Dunedin).

Gallagher Innovative Farming Award — Maatua Hou Ltd (Burnham), Mt Linton Station, IMF Sheep Genetics (Southland), Sam and Sarah Johnston (Wairarapa).

Silver Fern Farms Market Leader Award — Coastal Lamb (Whanganui), Spring Valley Enterprises (Masterton) and Middlehurst Delivered (Blenheim).

Sandra MAtthews