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New FARMAX-FarmIQ award recognises rural professionals at the peak of their careers

2023 Emerging Rural Professional of the Year, Sarah Hawkins, alongside FarmIQ executive general manager, Gavin McEwen

2023 Emerging Rural Professional of the Year, Sarah Hawkins, alongside FarmIQ executive general manager, Gavin McEwen

FARMAX-FarmIQ and the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industries Management (NZIPIM) have today announced a brand-new accolade: the FarmIQ Rural Professional of the Year Award.

The purpose of the award is to recognise industry professionals who have dedicated themselves to the agricultural industry and have contributed positively to their farmer clients, colleagues, and the rural field. 

The new award accompanies the existing FarmIQ Emerging Rural Professional of the Year Award, which celebrates passionate and innovative young people in Aotearoa’s agricultural industry, with five years’ experience or less.

Gavin McEwen, executive general manager of FarmIQ, says, “It's important and exciting to recognise those who have spent many years dedicated to the agricultural industry. These people have built connections, shared expertise and formed trusting relationships that help Kiwi farmers to flourish and excel.

“The team are excited to celebrate some true zealots of the industry this year – those who are at the pinnacle of their careers – alongside our passionate, up-and-coming professionals.”

The prize for each award includes money to the value of $3,000 towards professional development, such as a research project, an overseas study tour, professional development programmes/qualifications or research equipment.

Jo Finer, CEO of NZIPIM, asserts that these kinds of awards are more important than ever: “It has been another challenging year for many in the farming sector, so it is paramount that we continue to support those who are on the ground with farmers, working hard to keep farm businesses ticking over, preparing families for succession and navigating them through the often-complex environmental issues and regulations.

“Often the work of rural professionals goes unrecognised, but without it our ag sector would not be quite so resilient and innovative.”

The FarmIQ Emerging Rural Professional of the Year for 2023, Sarah Hawkins, appreciates the new opportunities for learning and networking provided by the whole experience.

“Winning the Emerging Rural Professional Award opened so many doors that I didn’t even knew existed. It gave me the opportunity to engage and work with new people in all parts of the industry, expanding and improving my network,” says Sarah.

“I am so grateful to have pushed out of my comfort zone to have applied for this award. A massive thanks to FARMAX and FarmIQ for continuing to sponsor this award – I think it adds huge value to the industry and the young members within it.”

Applications for both awards are now open - click the links below to nominate yourself or someone else.

Emerging Rural Professional Award (less than five years' experience)

Rural Professional Award (five or more years' experience)

Applications will be accepted through to 29 July, with the lucky recipients being announced at this year’s NZIPIM annual conference held in Hamilton on 19 and 20 August 2024.

All types of rural professionals can apply, including, but not limited to consultants, agronomists, fertiliser reps, rural accountants, vets and environmental specialists.