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That attitude has helped him make a significant contribution to farming, which has been recognised in his being named Arable Farmer of the Year at Federated Farmers' national annual meeting in Wellington
''It's an honour to be recognised by your peers,'' he said.
Ever since joining Federated Farmers in the mid-1980s he has been a staunch member and his commitment remains as strong as ever.
''Leadership roles are not for everyone but Federated Farmers is crucial for advocating for our members.''
After serving on the national executive he is now focused on the local branch in South Canterbury.
''I'm happy to be involved and help where I can. We've got submissions to the Canterbury Regional Council on OTOP [the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora water zone] at the moment.''
He has also been active in the South Canterbury Rural Support Trust and played a lead role in the formation of a joint Waitaki-Waimate M. bovis advisory group.
But these are only recent activities in which he has been involved.
When the award was presented in Wellington, Federated Farmers arable industry group chairwoman Karen Williams said it was difficult to know where to start when detailing Mr Hurst's contribution to farming.
She said he had served ''Feds'' at national, regional and branch level and put in countless hours for the Arable Industry Group's Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection, United Wheatgrowers and the Foundation for Arable Research.
''Without Colin's hard work, tenacity and leadership, we believe farmers and growers wouldn't have got the right outcomes.
''All of the work undertaken is in a voluntary capacity, which makes his contribution to industry all the more impressive.''
Mr Hurst has also been an advocate for farmers around the Seed Quality Management Authority (SQMA) table; on the Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC), in driving the development of a physical standard for fertiliser; and as a member of the FAR board and ARG.
The annual meeting in Wellington heard that one of Mr Hurst's wins for the industry involved a plan change proposed by Environment Canterbury which would have hit the livelihoods of local farmers and had consequences for all landowners.
Mr Hurst organised a meeting that drew more than 80 affected farmers.
''Thanks goodness the council saw sense,'' Mr Hurst told those at the awards ceremony.
''They didn't change the nutrient limits but they did change the way they were allocated.''
Mr Hurst farms 700ha at Makikihi of which 450ha is in cropping with some cattle and dairy support.
He and his wife Janis have three adult children and took over the farm from Mr Hurst's parents. His father, Tom Hurst (80), still helps out when needed.
-By Chris Tobin