Farmax Consultant of the Year 2016 winners announced in three categories
They are Trevor Cook from Totally Vets Ltd in Feilding who won the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep and Beef Rural Professional of the Year title, Brent Boyce from LIC's FarmWise Consultancy Group in Wakefield who is the Dairy NZ Dairy Rural Professional of the Year and BakerAg sheep and beef consultant Ellie Cranswick from Masterton who was named New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management's (NZIPIM) Emerging Rural Professional of the Year.
The Farmax Consultant of the Year Awards, now in their fourth year, were open to agricultural consultants from around New Zealand. Organisers broadened the criteria this year to include all rural professionals and this year's finalists included a polytechnic agricultural tutor and a rural banker.
Sixteen finalists competed for the three titles and the prize package included a Windows tablet and professional development funding for each of the three category winners.
Farmax CEO Gavin McEwen said he was impressed with the excellent standard of nominees in all categories. "The judges had a tough job as the finalists were all impressive. The winners have gone above and beyond to make a difference to their clients and the industry. These rural professionals demonstrate commitment, innovative thinking, passion for farming, and are all working hard to advance the industry and better their communities. We congratulate them for their drive, effort and vision," said Mr McEwen.
Farmax initiated the Consultant of the Year Awards in 2013 as a way of recognising the expertise and value agricultural consultants and rural professionals provide to the pastoral farming industry in New Zealand.
NZIPIM partnered with Farmax on the awards this year. NZIPIM Chief Executive Stephen Macaulay said: "NZIPIM is proud to be associated with the Farmax Consultant of the Year awards which recognise and promote excellence within the rural profession. As expected this year's awards was tightly contested across the three award categories. The role these rural professionals play in the agricultural industry is significant, especially given current challenges facing the rural sector in New Zealand."
From 2017 NZIPIM will take over the running of the awards. Farmax will continue its involvement as a sponsor of the Emerging Rural Professional of the Year category.
Mr McEwen said: "the change makes sense and we are excited to be supporting NZIPIM as they take on the Consultant of the Year Awards next year. Sponsoring the Emerging Rural Professional of the Year category aligns closely with our strategy of enhancing education and awareness of tools like Farmax at a tertiary level. We believe in supporting and celebrating the next generation of rural professionals, who play such a vital role in the future of the agricultural industry in New Zealand."
For more information about the Farmax Consultant of the Year Awards visit www.farmax.co.nz