The finalists in the 2022 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award for sheep and beef were recently announced.
Judging of the entrants in this competition resumes in May, as well as the judging for the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award, which is run in conjunction with the senior event.
Ahuwhenua Trophy chair Nuku Hadfield says, with Covid restrictions now being progressively lifted, it was decided that it is safe to resume the judging process. She says entrants and sponsors have all been consulted and they are happy with this decision.
Hadfield says the only change to the programme now is the cancellation of the announcement of finalists at a function at Parliament.
"We will be announcing the finalists once the first-round judging process is complete," she told Rural News. "People will have a chance to meet this year's finalists at their respective field days in August and September. These events have always proved popular and are an excellent way of showcasing the achievements of our finalists."
Hadfield says 2022 has been a very challenging year for many Māori sheep and beef farmers, especially those on the East Coast of the North Island.
"The heavy rains in March had a catastrophic effect on some Māori farms - akin to the devastating Cyclone Bola in 1988," she says.
“The torrential rain caused massive slips on many farms, destroying fences, tracks and other infrastructure. Stock have also been lost or affected by the storms. It will take considerable time and effort to restore these farms to their former states.”
But Hadfield says, despite these setbacks, the prospects are good for another excellent Ahuwhenua Trophy competition. She says the Ahuwhenua Trophy has always been a highlight of the year for the agri sector and the 2022 competition will be no exception.
The field days for the finalists will take place in the last week of August and the first two weeks of September, with the awards dinner to be held on Friday 21 October in Hawke’s Bay.