Competitions give you something to aim for. You'll learn a lot about yourself while working through challenges, meeting others with similar interests and having fun. Participation is also great for your CV. And, you could make a mark in your industry.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in New Zealand’s important pastoral sector. This competition is held annually, alternating each year between dairy and sheep & beef.

Website: Ahuwhenua Trophy

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards attracts farmers from across the country, working in all levels of the dairy industry.

The awards showcase and support our passionate farmers of the future.

The Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions give entrants the chance to earn a regional or national title and to share in substantial regional and national prize pools.


Website: New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Trust

The key objective of the awards is to display to farmers that profitability need not compromise environmental values. Indeed, past winners of the awards have shown that the environment can be both restored and enhanced under profitable farming systems.

The awards help farmers enhance their businesses in a number of ways. Past participants have highlighted the following benefits from taking part in the awards:

  • The awards offer an opportunity to link sustainable farming practices to long-term profitability
  • The awards give farmers a chance to discuss practical aspects of farming with the judges, and to benefit from their knowledge
  • The awards allow farmers to listen to the ideas of other entrants and to see the different approaches they take
  • The awards can confirm that your current farm management practices are actually sustainable
  • The awards offer the opportunity to gain both prizes and recognition

The awards look at whole farm systems and strongly promote the positive. All entrants to the awards receive detailed feedback from the judges, who are chosen for their knowledge of both farming and the environment. Regional winners are profiled in a wide range of media and events. The judges aim to celebrate the positive actions taken by entrants, rather than to criticise. Overall, the aim of the awards is to encourage other farmers to be more proactive in their resource management by providing them with role models for sustainable land management.

Website: Ballance Farm Environment Awards

The primary objectives of the Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year is to identify, promote and celebrate excellence in pastoral farming in Hawke’s Bay.

In doing so we endorse the contribution of pastoral farming to the economic cultural and social well being of Hawke’s Bay.

For forty years the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society has championed this competition and it is seen as the premier farming event on the Hawke’s Bay Calendar.

This regionally significant competition seeks to identify those operators, be they managers or owners, that maximise the potential of the property they farm in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Past entrants comment “entering the competition has helped me think strategically about my business and the opportunity to benchmark ourselves alongside our peers has been a valuable experience”.

The judging process is conducted by an independent panel of industry participants that understand the practicalities of the modern farming business.

Website: Silver Fern Farms Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year

The South Island Farmer of the Year competition acknowledges outstanding and innovative farm management practice and farmers’ contributions to leadership in land-based production. The competition is open to every farmer in the primary sector – dairy, sheep, deer, arable, horticulture and viticulture – as long as farms are a viable commercial activity in their own right.

Past winners of the competition have shown that they are in the top grade in their field. They have demonstrated leadership and creativity in developing new products or practices that have advanced or is advancing farming in New Zealand.

In the course of the competition, judges assess each written application and visit each property prior to announcing the finalists. Each finalist is visited a second time and a more detailed assessment of their property and books is carried out before they present their entry at a public forum at Lincoln University – from where a champion is selected and announced.

Website: South Island Farmer of the Year

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