Congratulations to Steve Wyn-Harris, a Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer and farming commentator, who has just been announced as the 2012 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year.
Wyn-Harris started his farming career in 1985, when he bought 180 hectares in Central Hawke’s Bay, adding several other blocks over the years, so he and his wife now have 350ha. The properties carry high performance breeding ewes, including a Coopworth sheep stud that uses the latest technology such as sire referencing, AI and gene identification. Bull beef makes up 40% of the stock carried and 15% of the property is planted in forestry and areas of amenity and native plantings are scattered over all the farms. He has won a number of farming awards over the years, most recently last year when the farm took out the East Coast Balance Farm Environment Supreme Award.
He took out this year’s award as a broadcaster with his own local radio show and a regular on the national Farming Show. He is also a longstanding columnist and has been contributing weekly columns for many years and currently appears in NZ Farmers’ Weekly.
The Award is administered by the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators (NZGAJC) and recognises excellence in communicating agricultural issues, events or information. regarded as the premier award for agricultural communicators, it is also the most valuable prize on offer. Landcorp provides a prize of $2,500, which is part of a funding package of $7,500 in sponsorship for the Guild. The additional funding assists with administration costs, including the award dinner.
Guild President, Jon Morgan, said Steve is a worthy recipient of the award this year. His columns, comments, presentations at conferences cover an extensive range of topics, but his style remains the same, relaxed, whimsical and often humorous. “He is widely respected as an excellent farmer, but has that rare gift of communication that crosses all areas of rural life.”