Five “exceptional nominations” were received by Federated Farmers, according to president Bruce Willis. Hickson was picked out from the five by judges Andrew Newman, Cr Hon Christine Fletcher and Waikato University’s Professor Jacqueline Rowarth.
“Craig is a hands-on farmer but the name of his company pretty much sums up his philosophy,” said Willis at the Auckland gala event where the award was presented to Mike Petersen, chairman of Beef + Lamb NZ Ltd in Hickson’s stead. Hickson himself was away in Australia representing the industry at LambEx 2012 and talking about questions Australian lamb producers should be asking their processors.
“[Hickson] runs a mixed 1,200 hectare sheep,deer and beef farm in Hawke’s Bay and in addition to Progressive Meats, is a member of the Meat Board. Craig is also a director of Ovation New Zealand and a number of other meat companies.”
Hickson has been an Meat Industry Association council member since 2003 and is also a Board director for Beef + Lamb NZ Ltd, Ovita Ltd, Lean Meats Ltd, Te Kuiti Meats Ltd, Progressive Leathers and Venison Packers.
An associated award, the Ravensdown/Federated Farmers Agribusiness Personality for 2012 went to agricultural scientist Dr Doug Edmeades, who was also a finalist for Agribusiness Person of the Year.