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Hastings farmers win the big one !

12th Apr, 2017  |  Farmer Of The Year

An evening celebrating primary sector excellence

Over 400 people celebrated the biggest night on the region’s primary sector calendar, the Napier Port Hawke’s Bay Primary Sector Awards hosted by the Hawke’s Bay A & P Society at the showgrounds.

Hawke’s Bay A & P Society president Richard Chambers said recognising and celebrating primary sector excellence has reached a new level in Hawke’s Bay.

“These awards celebrate our past, present and future leaders. They are working incredibly hard, they are all dedicated to their different sectors and they are all making a real difference in helping make our region successful.”

“Hawke’s Bay’s primary sector is a phenomenal success story, it has grown through diversity and innovation and is the backbone of our economy supporting industry, business and growing jobs”.

Hastings farmers Paul & Marie Renton, Glenmore have won the ultimate Hawke’s Bay farming trophy, the Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year.  Peter Tod, Chairman of the Napier Port HB Primary Sector Awards committee said “Paul and Marie demonstrated some real strengths in their business as it has evolved over the last 10 years.  It will be an impressive field-day on the 4th May when we get to see and understand more about how the Renton’s are achieving award winning results”.

The words pioneer, visionary, innovator and entrepreneur are used freely to describe this year’s humble but worthy recipient of the Hastings District Council Primary Sector Leader Award for 2017- John Paynter. Credited with the planting of over 1400ha of fruit trees across the plains, from a young age John was always going to leave his mark on horticulture in New Zealand and the landscape of Hawke’s Bay Along with the Paynter’s export business Johnny Appleseed Group, his company’s Yummy brand leads the New Zealand domestic market. Today the family business, produces more than a million cartons of fruit and employs over 500 people at the peak of the season and 350 fulltime throughout the year.

Greg & Rachel Hart, Mangarara Station came away with the Pan Pac Hawke’s Bay Farm Forester of the Year Award.  The judges commenting that Greg and Rachel have a vision which includes extensive plantings of natives and varying other species.  They are fully committed to creating a regenerative agricultural farming system and have an innovative approach to stock management and marketing. 

Fourth year Massey University student Amy Hoogenboom, who is studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science has been awarded the Lawson Robinson Hawke’s Bay A&P Scholarship.  Not coming from a farming family her passion for the primary sector was something she developed through the Future Beef New Zealand program.  It was there that she decided to focus more closely on a career as a production animal veterinarian.

In a departure from tradition this year’s winner of the Laurie Dowling Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture is a group and not an individual. The judges felt no one individual could be singled out in this organisation so presented it to all the volunteers, crew and staff who ensure the continuing existence and success of the Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust.  This dedicated rescue helicopter service was established in 1984 and each year it fly’s more than 300 missions across the region helping those who need urgent medical care and transportation, many of them farmers and people living and working in rural communities.

With over 32 years as a consultant, farmer and practicing vet, this year’s Bayleys Hawke’s Bay Primary Sector Professional of the Year winner Ian Walker is no doubt a worthy recipient.  He is extremely well regarded amongst his peers and fellow industry experts both locally and nationally and has made an outstanding contribution through his knowledge, skill and application to improving the performance of primary sector businesses in Hawke’s Bay and beyond.

Tod said “it was pleasing to see such a high caliber and depth of entries across all competitions within these awards.  It shows the strength of the primary sector in Hawke’s Bay, and future leadership and innovation will continue to drive our economy.”

Ends  Contact Hillary Riches, 027 2588784

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