Glammies celebrate farming excellence

The Black family, of Ermedale, (from left) Wendy, Jessica (16), Maggie (6, front), Daniel (14), Olivia (11), and Leon have their photo taken with Beef and Lamb NZ Central South Island director Anne Munro after winning the best of breed open category at the Golden Lamb Awards. Photo by Leith Huffadine. Island director Anne Munro after winning the best of breed open category at the Golden Lamb Awards 2014.
The Black family, of Ermedale, (from left) Wendy, Jessica (16), Maggie (6, front), Daniel (14), Olivia (11), and Leon have their photo taken with Beef and Lamb NZ Central South Island director Anne Munro after winning the best of breed open category at the Golden Lamb Awards. Photo by Leith Huffadine. Island director Anne Munro after winning the best of breed open category at the Golden Lamb Awards 2014.
A Southland family has won the best of breed open category at the 2014 Golden Lamb Awards.

Leon and Wendy Black, of Ermedale, along with their children, accepted the award at the Upper Clutha A&P show in Wanaka on Friday.

Their lamb, processed by Alliance Lorneville, was deemed to be the best by a judging panel that included Prime Minister John Key and Olympic BMX medallist Sarah Walker. Mr Black said he was rapt with the result.

''We enter these things to find out how good we are so it's nice to come out first in class.

A lot of people did not understand the product they were providing and the need for consistently high quality lamb, so the event was good to be able to help people understand that.

''You have to care - care about what we are producing and how well we have to do so,'' Mr Black said.

Beef and Lamb NZ chief executive Rod Slater said word from the judges was there was a significant variance between flavours, succulence and tenderness compared with other years.

The Beef and Lamb NZ competition saw 172 entries, up from last year's event, Mr Slater said.

''My take on the competition is it has got stronger each year, which is all we can ask for when you dream up a competition and don't know how it is going to go.''

Beef and Lamb NZ Central South Island director Anne Munro said the event was about celebrating the positives of the industry.

''We produce a fantastic product and it is great to celebrate that ... [we need to] focus on what we do and what we do well, and strive to keep bringing out the goods.''

The grand title was won by Fraser and Sara Briant, of Gisborne, with a Coopworth processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau. Roger and Alison Thomas, of Tuatapere, won the best of breed crossbreed category with a Perendale-Texel processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane.

A full list of results is available on the Beef and Lamb NZ website.

- by Leith Huffadine