NZ Sheep Producer of the Decade chosen

NZ Sheep Producer of the Decade was announced at the 2017 Glammies in Wanaka - (From left to right) Robert, Rosemary, Cheraly, Grant and Teri Gardyne.

The producer of New Zealand’s most consistently tender and tasty lamb in the last 10 years has been announced today at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

For the past 10 years, the Glammies competition has sought out the country’s top lamb based on a scientific assessment and then taste. This year, the results from the past decade were collated to determine Robert Gardyne from Oturehua, Central Otago as the NZ Sheep Producer of the Decade.

Having been a finalist in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and the 2016 Grand Champion, Gardyne is no stranger to success. He has farmed for 52 years and believes his success is down to experience and practice.

“Consumers are now much more interested in the food they eat and where it comes from. Reflecting on the past decade, a lot of effort has been put into the management and genetic makeup of the animal to fine-tune the lamb we produce. Gaining an award like this is a huge thrill and gives me confidence in what is to come,” says Gardyne.

Judging of the 2017 Glammies was done by (from left to right) head judge, Graham Hawkes and Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chefs: Alistair Forster, Mahana Estates, Nelson; Andi Bozhiqi, Millhouse Restaurant at Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown; Steve Beere, Mint Restaurant, Napier; Shaun Clouston, Logan Brown; Wellington; and Scott Kennedy, Nero Restaurant, Palmerston North.

Following an independent assessment for yield, tenderness, succulence and colour the top 20 finalists were found and sent to be judged by B+LNZ Ambassador Chefs in the Grand Final at the Wanaka A&P Show.

Forbes & Angus Cameron from Ashhurst, with their Growbulk processed at Alliance Dannevirke, outshone the 166 entrants in the 2017 competition and were announced as the B+LNZ Golden Lamb Awards 2017 Grand Champion. This is a remarkable achievement for the Camerons who also won the beef equivalent competition, the B+LNZ Steak of Origin, in 2015.

B+LNZ chief executive, Sam McIvor sees the Glammies competition as a platform to showcase the country’s farmers who produce the best lamb in the world.

“Our industry has made dramatic progress over the last 20 years with higher lambing percentages – up 25 percent, an increase of 93 percent of lamb weight sold per ewe wintered and it’s been done on two million less hectares. Even though sheep numbers have gone from 70 million to 30 million, we’re still selling similar amounts of sheepmeat through increased productivity.”

Left to right are James Parsons, B+LNZ chairman, and B+LNZ Iron Maiden Sarah Walker congratulating the 2017 Glammies Grand Champion Christine & Forbes Cameron, with B+LNZ chief executive, Sam McIvor.

“This competition recognises the quality aspects that are so important to the customer. The excellent results are a reflection of the work that farmers, processors, and scientists have put into driving these aspects of lamb production,” says McIvor.

Adding to the day’s celebrations, Matt & Lynley Wyeth from Masterton were awarded the 2017 People’s Choice Award and Countdown Supermarkets took out the title of Glammies 2017 Retail Winner.

Four of our nation’s top athletes and B+LNZ Iron Maidens Lisa Carrington, Sarah Walker, Sophie Pascoe and Caroline Meyer (nee Evers-Swindell) were at the competition to pay tribute to New Zealand sheep farmers.

The competition is sponsored by Zoetis and Elanco and supported by Alliance Group, ANZCO Foods Canterbury, Ashburton Meat Processors, Auckland Meat Processors/Wilson Hellaby, Blue Sky Meats, Cabernet Foods/Kintyre Meats, Harris Meats, Oamaru Meats, Progressive Meats, Silver Fern Farms and Taylor Preston.

2017 BEEF + LAMB NEW ZEALAND GOLDEN LAMB AWARDS RESULTS:

NZ SHEEP PRODUCER OF THE DECADE (2007 – 2017): Robert Gardyne, Oturehua

2017 GRAND CHAMPION: Forbes & Angus Cameron, Ashhurst (Growbulk)

PROCESSOR OF THE GRAND CHAMPION: Alliance Dannevirke

2017 RETAIL WINNER: Countdown Supermarkets (South Suffolk/Romney from Ruakiwi, Kaikohe)

2017 PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Matt & Lynley Wyeth, Masterton (Highlander/Primera), processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau

CLASS 1 // BEST OF BREED: TRADITIONAL
Gold: Hamish Mackay, Gore (Romney), processed at Alliance Lorneville
Silver: Robert Gardyne, Oturehua (Perendale), processed at Alliance Lorneville
Bronze: Paul, Rachel, Mark & Louise Heslip, Dipton (Perendale/Romney), processed at Alliance Lorneville
Highly Commended: Don Morrison, Gore (Romney), processed at Alliance Lorneville

CLASS 2 // BEST OF BREED: CROSSBREED
Gold: Roger, Alison & Jeremy Thomas, Tuatapere (Perendale/Texel), processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane Silver: Charles Crutchley, Ranfurly (Texel/Perendale/Romney), processed at Oamaru Meats
Bronze: Hayden Peter, Wyndham (Greeline), processed at Alliance Lorneville
Highly Commended: Jane Leogreen, Dannevirke (Texel/Perendale/Romney), processed at Alliance Dannevirke

CLASS 3 // BEST OF BREED: TERMINAL CROSS
Gold: Don Morrison, Gore (Growbulk/Charollais), processed at Alliance Lorneville
Silver: Matt & Lynley Wyeth, Masterton (Highlander/Primera), processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
Bronze: Gary Fordyce, Gore (Composite/Texel X), processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane
Highly Commended: Allan Paterson, Otautau (CoopTexel/Texel), processed at Alliance Lorneville

CLASS 4 // BEST OF BREED: OPEN
Gold: Peter Sim & Maree Whiteley, Garston (Textra), processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane
Silver: Forbes & Angus Cameron, Ashhurst (Growbulk), processed at Alliance Dannevirke
Bronze: Doug Brown, Oamaru (Poll Dorset/Texel), processed at Alliance Smithfield
Highly Commended: Robert Gardyne, Oturehua (Perendale/Suffolk/Texel), processed at Alliance Lorneville

CLASS 5 // RETAIL
Gold: Countdown Supermarkets (South Suffolk/Romney from Ruakiwi, Kaikohe)
Silver: Pure South, Alliance Meats (Romney/Texel from JW, JC & JR Clark, Milton)
Bronze: Countdown Supermarkets (Southdown/Texel/Romney from DI Cathcart, Huntly)
Highly Commended: Lifestyle Meats (Texel Perendale from Ohakune)

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