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After being held in the South for the past two years, the awards have been shifted to Napier and will be held on August 6.
Dr Jopson is a finalist in one of two new categories - the sheep industry science award, which recognises a project, business or person undertaking science that is having a positive impact on farming.
The other finalists are Prof Paul Kenyon, from Massey University, and also Massey University.
AbacusBio, a consultancy and new venture development company, is a finalist in the sheep industry innovation award, along with Andy Ramsden, from Wanaka, and Wairarapa farmers Matt and Lynley Wyeth.
Another new category this year is the sheep industry supplier award, recognising a farmer supplier nominated by processors for consistently meeting company specifications and other key performance indicators.
The finalists are Dave and Kay Stanley (Taupo), Mark, Rachel, Sam and Karl Zino (North Canterbury), Horizon Farming Ltd (Hawkes Bay), Shaun and Martina Lawlor (Gore), Bill and Sue Garland (Waikato) and Landcorp Wairio (Wairarapa).
Leon Black, who retired earlier this year as Beef and Lamb New Zealand's southern South Island director, is a finalist for an individual or business making a significant contribution to the New Zealand sheep industry, alongside Steve Wyn-Harris (Hawkes Bay) and Roger Marshall (Marton).
North Island-based Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Waipaoa Station Training Trust and Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm are sheep industry trainer of the year finalists.
There will also be a range of genetics-related awards.