Local shepherds named finalists

WELL DONE: Tolaga Bay shepherds Kristy Roa (above) and Tu Harrison-Boyd have been named as two of three finalists in the annual Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer competition, run in conjunction with the Ahuwhenua Trophy contest, in which Whangara Farms and Kiriroa Station at Motu are also finalists. Pictures by John Cowpland/alphapix
WELL DONE: Tolaga Bay shepherds Kristy Roa and Tu Harrison-Boyd (above) have been named as two of three finalists in the annual Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer competition, run in conjunction with the Ahuwhenua Trophy contest, in which Whangara Farms and Kiriroa Station at Motu are also finalists. Pictures by John Cowpland/alphapix

FORMER Waipaoa farm cadet Kristy Roa and Smedley cadet Tumoanakotere Harrison-Boyd, who both work in the Tolaga Bay district, have been named finalists in the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer competiton for sheep and beef.

Kristy Roa, Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Apakura, works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station near Tolaga Bay.

Tu (as he is commonly known) Harrison-Boyd, Ngati Porou, Whanau a Tuwhakairiora me Te Whanau a Hinekehu, works as a shepherd at Whareopaia Station also near Tolaga Bay.

The third finalist is Taane-nui-a-Rangi Hubbard, a shepherd on Caberfeidh Station in the Hakataramea Valley near Kurow, northwest of Oamaru.

The trio were selected from a number of entrants from around the country.

The Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer Award was first held in 2012 and is designed to recognise talented up-and-coming young Maori farmers.

“It is also designed to encourage young Maori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists within Maori,” an award spokesman said.

It runs in tandem with the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition and the winner will be announced during the Trophy awards dinner to be held in Gisborne on May 24.

Lead judge Peter Little said it was never an easy task to select finalists given the pool of young Maori who in a short space of time are making great progress in their careers in agriculture.

“The training undertaken by the finalists has helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provide an excellent platform to progress to senior positions within the industry,” Mr Little said.

Kristy, 20, is a city girl who grew up in Hamilton and whose parents have no direct connections to farming although they own an engineering business that builds milk tankers for Fonterra.

She said it was quite by chance she heard about the farm cadet course run by Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust and driving there through the farmland to an open day inspired her to make agriculture her career choice.

Kristy said many city kids see farming as a lifestyle, whereas she sees the business dimension which she describes as ‘pretty cool’.

Her shepherd job on Iwinui has been her first job since leaving Waipaoa.

Tu, 23, said he has always had an interest in farming dating back to his early school days.

At secondary school he joined the New Zealand Trades Academy programme which saw him get three days a week on-farm experience in his 6th and 7th form years.

At one of the farms he met up with two shepherds who were graduates from Smedley Cadet Training Farm in Central Hawke’s Bay.

He applied, was accepted and completed the two year programme, then went on to do a Diploma in Agriculture and a Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University.

Tu started work as a shepherd on Whareopaia about a year ago.

He has a busy life, with two young children. He said he “chases sheep by day and changes nappies by night”.

Tu’s short-term goal is to be a stock manager on a large Maori owned farm and be a manager by the time he is 30.

FORMER Waipaoa farm cadet Kristy Roa and Smedley cadet Tumoanakotere Harrison-Boyd, who both work in the Tolaga Bay district, have been named finalists in the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer competiton for sheep and beef.

Kristy Roa, Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Apakura, works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station near Tolaga Bay.

Tu (as he is commonly known) Harrison-Boyd, Ngati Porou, Whanau a Tuwhakairiora me Te Whanau a Hinekehu, works as a shepherd at Whareopaia Station also near Tolaga Bay.

The third finalist is Taane-nui-a-Rangi Hubbard, a shepherd on Caberfeidh Station in the Hakataramea Valley near Kurow, northwest of Oamaru.

The trio were selected from a number of entrants from around the country.

The Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer Award was first held in 2012 and is designed to recognise talented up-and-coming young Maori farmers.

“It is also designed to encourage young Maori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists within Maori,” an award spokesman said.

It runs in tandem with the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition and the winner will be announced during the Trophy awards dinner to be held in Gisborne on May 24.

Lead judge Peter Little said it was never an easy task to select finalists given the pool of young Maori who in a short space of time are making great progress in their careers in agriculture.

“The training undertaken by the finalists has helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provide an excellent platform to progress to senior positions within the industry,” Mr Little said.

Kristy, 20, is a city girl who grew up in Hamilton and whose parents have no direct connections to farming although they own an engineering business that builds milk tankers for Fonterra.

She said it was quite by chance she heard about the farm cadet course run by Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust and driving there through the farmland to an open day inspired her to make agriculture her career choice.

Kristy said many city kids see farming as a lifestyle, whereas she sees the business dimension which she describes as ‘pretty cool’.

Her shepherd job on Iwinui has been her first job since leaving Waipaoa.

Tu, 23, said he has always had an interest in farming dating back to his early school days.

At secondary school he joined the New Zealand Trades Academy programme which saw him get three days a week on-farm experience in his 6th and 7th form years.

At one of the farms he met up with two shepherds who were graduates from Smedley Cadet Training Farm in Central Hawke’s Bay.

He applied, was accepted and completed the two year programme, then went on to do a Diploma in Agriculture and a Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University.

Tu started work as a shepherd on Whareopaia about a year ago.

He has a busy life, with two young children. He said he “chases sheep by day and changes nappies by night”.

Tu’s short-term goal is to be a stock manager on a large Maori owned farm and be a manager by the time he is 30.

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