NZ dairy and deer through to agri-business award finals

Two New Zealand farm managers have made it through to the finals of the inaugural Zanda McDonald Award, a trans-Tasman agri-business initiative created by the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group.

Twenty nine year old Athol New, Farm Business Manager of Synlait’s Dunsandel Dairies based in Rakaia, and Luke Wright, 32, Farm Manager of Landcorp Farming’s Stuart Farm, Te Anau, Southland, have been invited to the PPP annual conference in Darwin in June 2015 – where the award recipient will be announced.

They will be joined by third finalist, 27 year old Emma Hegarty, Beef Extension Officer at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) in Queensland, Australia.

Shane McManaway, PPP Chairman, says the three are to be highly commended for the contributions they are currently making to their agri-business communities and that he and the judging panel – Julie McDonald (MDH Pty, Qld), Melinda King (Whitney Pastoral Company, NSW), Charlie De Fegely (Ararat, Victoria) and Pat Gunston (Allflex Australasia, Qld) – were extremely impressed.

“All the candidates were exceptional and it was a tough job deciding who would go forward. We now have three extremely high-calibre contenders. The next stage will certainly be exciting.”

The award recipient will receive a tailored prize package based around spending quality mentoring time with PPP members relevant to their business sectors. The prize also includes a place on the Rabobank Farm Manager’s Programme (valued at around $7,000).

The late Zanda McDonald, a Queensland cattle producer, was a founding member of the PPP Group (a trans-Tasman networking syndicate comprising over 120 of Australasia’s leading agri-business professionals). The Award is a PPP initiative created in his honour and as an opportunity to give promising young agri-leaders a helping hand.

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