The award was inaugurated ten years ago and is designed to recognise the achievements of young Māori in the farming and horticulture sectors. In 2022 the competition is for sheep and beef – in a three year cycle, young Māori involved in horticulture and dairy are also recognised.
The competition is run in conjunction with the senior Ahuwhenua Trophy which in 2022 is also open to Māori sheep and beef farmers.
Nukuhia Hadfield, Chair of the Management Committee which oversees both the Young Māori Farmer competition and also the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition says the continued growth within the Māori agribusiness sector has opened up new career opportunities for rangatahi. She says in the relatively short time the AYMF competition 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.
“I would encourage young Māori men and women to enter this competition. They will find, like others have in the past that it 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 and not in any way intimidating. They will have a great time,” she says.