Congratulations to the winners in the third annual Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Sheep Industry Awards.
About 230 people attended a dinner in Napier last night, where 10 genetics-based awards and five sector excellence awards were presented. Results of the genetics-based awards were calculated based on ram breeders’ performance in SIL-ACE (Advanced Central Evaluation) – the large-scale, across flock and breed genetic evaluation of more than 300 ram breeding flocks.
- The Blackdale sheep industry supplier of the year award was presented to Mark & Rachel and Sam & Keri Zino of Zino Holdings Limited, who are suppliers to ANZCO.
- Dr Neville Jopson received the Focus Genetics sheep industry science award.
- The PrimaryITO sheep industry trainer of the year award went to the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, based in the Wairarapa, while the
- Farmlands individual or business making a significant contribution to the New Zealand sheep industry award had two recipients this year – Steve Wyn-Harris of Hawke’s Bay and Roger Marshall of Marton.
- The Allflex sheep industry innovation award for 2014 was presented to Andy Ramsden of Wanaka.
- Within the genetics-based categories, two gold awards were presented. Mount Linton Station’s Suftex stud based in Southland received the Alliance Group Limited terminal sire overall award. The Telford dual purpose overall award went to Peter and Marion Black’s Blackdale Coopworth stud, Riverton.
B+LNZ chief executive officer Dr Scott Champion says that, while the awards are only three years old, they are already a flagship event on the sheep industry calendar.
“This event highlights the fantastic genetics available to New Zealand sheep farmers and how these can drive improved farm performance. It’s no wonder New Zealand is at the forefront of sheep farming internationally, with such passionate and astute individuals dedicated to progressing the genetic merit of our national flock. It’s also a great opportunity for the sector to get together, acknowledge the work of the winners and finalists, and to celebrate the sector’s contribution to New Zealand.”
Judging of the genetics-based awards was on the basis of individual animals with the highest rating or index. For each of the 10 categories, the top three rams were identified using results from the SIL-ACE evaluation and SIL standard indexes. Animals had to be in the top 25 per cent for a ‘basket of industry valued traits’, have been used as sires in the past three years and have a top ranking for the highlighted trait or index, as well as minimum levels of accuracy for these ratings. The Gold awards are for multi-trait index ratings – animals must be in top 25 per cent for all component traits and top in the overall index.