This year's Kate Sheppard Memorial Award recipient will support research to ultimately help New Zealand farmers choose forages for best production and drought resistance.
27-year-old Raharuhi is the Buller dairy group operations manager for Pāmu, where he oversees four dairy farms and a machinery syndicate at Cape Foulwind, and health and safety leadership for ten dairy farms.
He is also chair of the West Coast Focus Farm Trust, and heavily involved with training and mentoring staff as part of the West Coast 2IC Development Programme.
Raharuhi was also the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the Year in 2016.
The Zanda McDonald Award is an annual agri-business award recognising and supporting young individuals in the ag sector.
It was launched in 2014 in memory of Australian beef industry leader Zanda McDonald, who died aged 41 after an accident at his Queensland property in 2013.
Due to the recent postponement of the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Conference because of Covid-19, the announcement of the award winner was broadcast last night via video on social media by Zanda McDonald Award chairman Richard Rains.
“As judges, we were impressed with Jack from the moment we first interviewed him. He is doing some amazing things to develop, coach and mentor his team, and has a natural leadership style that is inspiring and compassionate,” says Rains.
“We can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Jack, and look forward to developing his tailored mentoring package with him, which will really help take his career to the next level.”
Raharuhi was “over the moon” to have received the award and says he is particularly excited about spending time with members of the PPP Group, the network of over 150 of Australasia’s influential agri-business men and women, of which Zanda McDonald was a foundation member.
“It’s just such an incredible honour to win this award. I’m really excited about the insights I’ll get into some of the best agriculture companies in the industry,” says Raharuhi.
As the winner of the award, Raharuhi will be receiving a professional development package that includes a mentoring trip to farming operations and businesses in Australia and New Zealand, media training, $2,000, and membership to the PPP Group.
Raharuhi will travel by a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft to parts of his mentoring trip, enabling him to reach diverse and remote farming operations on both sides of the Tasman.