Another year has almost passed us by – again – and it is time for the annual review of 2015's good, bad and ugly in regards to the primary sector as seen by the Rural News editorial team...
As well as the top prize of a $20,000 travel fund, the competition will offer four special category prizes with a cash prize of $5000 each.
Lincoln University Foundation chair Ben Todhunter says generous support from sponsors meant that the four prizes could again be offered this year, after their debut in the 2014 season.
"Modern farming is a complex and challenging business and it is appropriate that as well as acknowledging overall excellence with the top prize, that the Foundation also reward entrants who excel in four key categories of farm business management."
The four special category prizes are:
Silver Fern Farms 'Plate to Pasture' award
Given to the red meat finalist who shows the best focus on customer needs and service by showing how they plan their farming operations around what will eventually end up on the consumer's plate.
Agstaff award for Human Resource Management
Recognising commitment both on-farm to building a happy and productive team, and off-farm, through the strength and depth of relationships with suppliers, customers and the other people who interact with the farm business.
Farmlands Cooperative Prize for Resource Use Efficiency
Recognising excellence in the efficient and effective utilisation of the natural resources of the farm, and the physical resource inputs needed to generate a high level of production on a sustainable basis, resulting in an excellent long-run return on capital.
Lincoln University prize for Technology and Innovation
Best use of innovation, technology and/or new systems resulting in increased productivity.
Farmlands acting chief executive Tony van der Hoorn says Farmlands is proud to support an award that recognises maximising production while minimising environmental effects.
"Supporting this award is our way of acknowledging the development and contributions Farmers are making to create a more sustainable rural sector," he says.
Nominations and/or entries for South Island Farmer of the Year are open until August 1, 2015.
Visit www.lincolnuniversityfoundation.org.nz for more information