Canterbury well represented

Waimate farmer John Gregan and his wife Cara have been recognised for donating more than 5000...
Waimate farmer John Gregan and his wife Cara have been recognised for donating more than 5000 mince meals to foodbanks, as one of three finalists for the Rural Hero of the Year category in the Primary Industries New Zealand (PINZ) Awards. PHOTO: GRAEME STILWELL
Canterbury farmers are among the frontrunners for the Rural Hero of the Year category in the Primary Industries New Zealand (PINZ) Awards.

The finalists are Ashburton dairy farmer Craig Hickman and Waimate dairy farmers Cara and John Gregan and Alastair Macgregor. The winner will be announced in Wellington at a summit on July 2-3.

Also known as Dairyman, Mr Hickman’s honest take on dairying can be found in his many online posts.

He is active on Facebook and TikTok, with his style and humour discussing dairy and wider agricultural issues also catching the interest of non-farmers.

The Gregans run two farms and have managed to make time in their busy lives to donate more than 5000 mince meals to foodbanks through the Meat the Need programme.

They have also hosted a charity golf day that raised $12,000 for mince and milk meals for their local foodbank.

Mr Macgregor is a Farmy Army volunteer who has put in many hours with Commence the Re-Fence, an initiative to help farmers in rebuilding their fencing after last year’s Cyclone Gabrielle.

Award organisers said the retired farmer’s fencing and other skills after more than 40 years of farming was a huge asset to cyclone-hit farmers.

The PINZ awards celebrate innovation, excellence, collaboration and success in the farming, forestry and fishing sectors.

Vying for the outstanding contribution award are Nelson dairy and horticulture farmer Julian Raine, long-running radio presenter Jamie Mackay and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s trade and economic deputy secretary Vangelis Vitalis.

Nominations for the guardianship and conservation (Kaitiakitanga) award are South Taranaki farmers Jane and Damian Roper, Otago South River Care’s catchment collective team, which is on target to do 3km of riparian planting and AgResearch’s eDNA water quality team, led by Dr Adrian Cookson.

Among the other awards, the emerging leader finalists are wool coat label Velma & Beverley founder Claire Williamson, Ministry for Primary Industries senior adviser Jordi Hoult and Sam Waugh, who runs New Zealand Young Farmers’ Donald’s Farm in Whitford near Auckland.

Meanwhile, the Arable Awards will be held on August 15 with the winners to be announced in the innovation, positive environmental impact and working together categories as well as the individual maize, cereal, seed and agronomist of the year.

tim.cronshaw@alliedpress.co.nz

 

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