Sheep industry awards celebrate the best of the best

Photo: courtesy B+LNZ
Photo: courtesy B+LNZ

After a successful pilot last year, the second Beef + Lamb NZ sheep industry awards will take place in Invercargill on 14 August.

Championing the country’s top performing sheep farmers, breeders and industry innovators, the award categories cover genetics, production and business innovation. The top breeders will be drawn from the Sheep Improvement Ltd SIL database and another three industry awards will be made to individuals or businesses nominated by a panel of sheep industry experts.

These awards will recognise:

  • An individual or a business making a significant contribution to the New Zealand sheep industry
  • An individual or business deserving of the sheep industry innovation award
  • A business farm trainer of the year.

The competition will recognise and reward New Zealand’s top performers and in doing so will also profile the significant contribution it makes to the New Zealand economy, B+LNZ says. It calculates that the New Zealand red meat industry is worth around $8 billion annually, with wool export earnings contributing $746 million. New Zealand lamb also accounts for almost 60 percent of the world’s lamb exports (excluding trade within Europe).

Despite the loss of prime land, production levels have improved dramatically  so much so that new Zealand sheep farmers produce more lamb from fewer sheep. Lambing percentages are 20 percent higher than they were 20 years ago and lamb carcase weights are up 25 percent..

The improvement is down to expert farm management, applied science and genetics, including breed changes, says B+LNZ.

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