Celebrating the essence of farming: Farmlands Sponsors "Year of the Farmer 2023" Awards


Farmlands has gotten behind Rural Life’s new "Year of the Farmer 2023" awards by becoming the inaugural sponsor of this event’s "People’s Choice Award."  

The ‘Year Of The Farmer 2023’ aims to create a platform from which to highlight the achievements of the South Island’s most resilient farmers and growers, showcasing their efforts to create an environmentally, economically and socially-sustainable future, while also making a positive contribution to their own community. 

Sally Rae, Otago Daily Times business and rural editor, wrote an opinion piece shortly after the New Year’s Honours List came out, suggesting that there’s an equally important need to celebrate of New Zealand’s food and fibre producing champions. 

In the piece, she said that there was “a lack of acknowledgement for those in the primary sector — the engine room of the economy.” 

Farmlands CEO Tanya Houghton is equally passionate about recognising and celebrating our farming and growing sector, and the hugely important role it plays in Aotearoa’s success.   

"At Farmlands, we've always believed in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our farmers and growers. The 'Year of the Farmer 2023' awards is just another way that we can show up for rural communities, supporting and celebrating the businesses, the townships, the individuals, and our sector. It's an honour for us to support rural Kiwi farmers and growers, as their rural supplies buying group, 100% owned by these farmers and growers, and other Kiwis who are passionate about our land.” 

Farmlands is presenting the event’s "People’s Choice Award”, which will see the public getting actively involved in recognizing the remarkable rural leaders spread across the South Island. The winner of the Award will receive a $3,000 Farmlands Gift Card and be acknowledged as one of New Zealand's most inspiring rural leaders—something that speaks volumes about their exceptional contribution. 

Anyone can cast a vote and have the chance to win one of five $200 Farmlands Gift Cards.

“It’s a small way that we can show how we appreciate our customers’ involvement in the Year of the Farmer 2023 and possibly invite some new customers to shop at their local Farmlands, as everyone’s welcome” says Tanya. 

 To vote, all people need to do is visit the webpage at and follow the instructions.  

“Farmlands is always exploring new ways to support farmers and farming. Being part of events that show off the dedication and passion of our farmers and growers is one way that we can help raise awareness of the importance of farming to our economy and our land. We want to get behind the exceptional efforts of our farmers, and help get their amazing stories out there.” 

Nominations closed on April 28 and the process of choosing the top 52 farmers and growers from the South Island is ongoing. After being profiled in a special ODT and Rural Life publication at the end of August, a judging panel will then select finalists and then, in October, one ‘Year of the Farmer’ winner will be announced at a gala event and will receive a prize pack valued at $10,000.