Entries are open for up-and-coming young Māori men and women working on dairy farms around the country to enter the prestigious Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award.
The AYMF award was inaugurated in 2012 and is designed to recognise the achievements of young Māori leaders in the farming and horticulture sectors. In 2024 the competition is for dairy – in a three-year cycle, young Māori involved in horticulture and sheep and beef are also recognised.
Nukuhia Hadfield, chair of the management committee that oversees both the AYMF and the senior Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, said Māori agribusiness continues to grow and for this to be sustainable, the industry needs innovative young leaders.
One of the pathways for developing this cohort of leaders is with the AYMF award. She said the growth of the sector also means that there are new career opportunities for rangatahi.
“In the relatively short time the AYMF award has been running, it has brought to the fore some outstanding young Māori men and women who have already excelled in their careers. Since becoming finalists or winners they have moved up to new and more responsible roles and many have become inspirational role models,” she said.
Hadfield said she urges young Māori wāhine and tane to enter this competition and also asks that their employers and mentors encourage them to do so. She said that past finalists and winners have said that being involved in Ahuwhenua opens up new opportunities and networks and gives them the self-confidence to achieve their full potential.
“The Ahuwhenua whānau that runs the competition is both welcoming and supportive – entrants will have a great time,” she said.
Entries are now open and entry forms and further details are on the Ahuwhenua Trophy website. Entries close on Friday, February 9, and the finalists will be announced in late March 2024. The winner will be announced at the Ahuwhenua Trophy awards dinner on Friday, May 17.
Quinn Morgan, winner of the 2021 AYMF dairy award, said winning the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award will bring many new benefits and contacts, but also new responsibilities.
“I feel that I now have the responsibility to uphold the mana of the Ahuwhenua competition and to shine that light on the young farmers coming through. Now that I have made it and those who have gone before me have pulled me though, I am going to reach back and pull the next group of young farmers through as well.”
More details are at www.ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz.