May 17, 2016
Ahuwhenua rewarding second chances
Te Waipounamu is maintaining its two to one ratio in this year's Ahuwhenua contest with two of the finalist for the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Dairy Farmer competition coming from the south.
Ash-Leigh Campbell, who is studying full-time towards her Diploma in Agriculture at Lincoln University after managing a Darfield property, got into the industry after taking a job as a relief milker while still in high school so she could put petrol in her car.
Jack Raharuhi manages a 450 hectare Landcorp property on the West Coast, which he first came to after dropping out of Buller High School at 15.
He says dairy farming got him in line and out of trouble, and he now has a big focus on staff development and getting his employees through their Primary ITO studies.
The third finalist, Harepaora Ngaheu of Te Teko, also chose farming over gang life.
He was recently appointed sole manager to milk 150 cows on a 46ha farm in Ruatoki, south of Whakatane.
Lead judge Peter Little said the standard of entries for the competition had been exceedingly high and showed the commitment of young Maori in the dairy industry.
The winner will be announced on Friday at the gala event at Claudelands in Hamilton, where the local Waikato contender for the main Ahuwhenua trophy will hope to see off competition from two Canterbury farms.
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