Breeding hoggets at eight months of age can improve a ewe’s lifetime productivity.
Now in its 86th year, the competition alternates annually between dairy and sheep and beef; the 2018 competition will be for dairy.
Massey vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says it symbolises the emphasis her university is placing on Māori.
Massey now has a strategy of being a Treaty of Waitangi-led organisation, in the interests of the university and of Aotearoa New Zealand, Thomas says.
“We want to lead in that future and contribute to New Zealand as best as we can as a university.
“So in everything we do, in every rock we lift up, in every policy we examine, in every strategy we have, we will be looking at it through a Māori lens.”
Thomas says the deal with Ahuwhenua is a sweet spot for Massey that aligns with its strategy.
Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee chairman Kingi Smiler says it is a privilege to be associated with Massey University. He says Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe, who inaugurated the trophy in 1932, were men with strong and successful interests in agriculture.
“The vision for Massey University as articulated by Professor Thomas fits absolutely with the vision and values of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe,” he says.
The finalists in the 2018 competition will be announced in February and the final awards function will be held in Christchurch on May 25.
Entries will close on November 24. Entry forms and other details are at www.ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz.