Century Farm Awards patron named

Waitahuna man Russell Brown has been named patron of the New Zealand Century Farm Awards, which recognises long-standing family farms.

The secretary of the group's committee, Karen Roughan, said Mr Brown was the founding member and instigator of the awards.

She said Mr Brown came up with the idea when he and wife Anne hosted North American tourists from Vermont and they mentioned their state century farm programme.

''Russell presented the idea of awarding families who had farmed the same property for 100 years or more to the then Lawrence Heritage and Opportunities Working Party.''

Mr Brown was presented with a certificate and a lapel badge to mark the occasion.

Mrs Roughan said after much research and adaptation for New Zealand conditions the first awards night was planned for 2005 and 55 families from throughout New Zealand were awarded this honour of farming the same piece of land for 100 years or more.

The eighth awards dinner will be held on May 25 next year.

Mrs Roughan said families thinking about applying for this award had until the end of the month to do so.