Sunday, August 14, 2022

Innovation, stewardship key to irrigation awards

IrrigationNZ chief executive Vanessa Winning says it is important to acknowledge achievements made through hard work and commitment to the sector.

Irrigation New Zealand is on the lookout for farmers who show innovation and stewardship for this year’s awards.

As part of the irrigation sector’s journey of continuous improvement, there have been many people make big contributions and develop future focused technology, and IrrigationNZ has an opportunity to recognise that, chief executive Vanessa Winning says.

“It is important to acknowledge how many achievements have been made through hard work and commitment to the sector,” Winning said.

“We are constantly adapting to changes and looking at ways to enhance our environment through irrigation systems and the freshwater management that it entails, so it is nice to take a chance to sit back and recognise how far we have come and reward the people who have played a big part in that.” 

There are two awards up for presentation: the Ballance Agri Nutrients Innovation Award and the Ron Cocks Memorial Award, which recognises an individual’s commitment to the sector. 

J R (Ron) Cocks was a Mid Canterbury farmer, a pioneer, visionary and a leader in farming affairs. His greatest legacy to NZ was his leadership in water issues. The memorial award acknowledges that legacy and encourages others to follow his leadership whether that be through policy, environmental, compliance, community.

Winning said it is a great opportunity to recognise a deserved individual. The innovation award celebrates, encourages and promotes innovation alongside the positive initiatives being undertaken in communities because of irrigation.

A $2500 cash prize is up for grabs for the best innovation, discovery or achievement that makes a positive contribution, impact or benefit to irrigation in NZ. The prize can be awarded to an individual or a team with entries and nominations encouraged from irrigators, schemes, user groups, environmental groups, industry and university students.

The innovation may be new or a reinvention or reapplication of an old technology. The innovation must also demonstrate a clear, recent, or potential impact to irrigation in NZ.

The award recipients will be recognised at the IrrigationNZ awards evening in Wellington on October 26. 

“It will be fantastic to come together and have a celebratory event which has been hard to do due to covid restrictions in recent years,” she said.

“Nominations close on July 31 so don’t hesitate to put something forward, it’s not often opportunities like this come up and we really want people to make the most of it,” Winning says.

For more information and nomination form go to www.irrigationnz.co.nz

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