Farming families with a long heritage of farming their land have the end of this month to submit their application in time for this year’s New Zealand Century Farms and Station awards.
New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards chairperson Karen Roughan says judging by the amount of applications already in, it’s gearing up to be another good year.
“Word certainly seems to be spreading in the farming community that this is a worthwhile thing to do.”
Karen says that feedback from the award recipients is that they find the whole process an immensely rewarding experience – from the gathering of the farming history through to the coming together of extended family at the awards ceremony. “It’s a chance for all generations to take a breath and truly reflect on the challenges and achievements over the past 100-plus years – and to share those memories with other farming families. It really is a very special evening. ”
The committee firmly believe that keeping any farm or station in a family from generation to generation through challenging times is an impressive achievement and deserves to be recognised.
The programme began in 2005 in Lawrence with an aim to capture and preserve family histories of pioneering families and their descendants. Eligible families submit narratives of their farm history, together with copies of related photographs and supporting documents, which are then archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, ensuring all records are kept in perpetuity.
A formal dinner in Lawrence each May honours the awardees and their significant achievement of 100 or more years in farming. Karen says it’s a chance for recipients to meet each other and formally receive their distinctive bronze plaque and certificate to display on their property.
To date, more than 450 families from throughout NZ have joined this exclusive circle of centenarians and sesquicentenarians.
“Families who have owned and farmed their land since 1919 or earlier are eligible to apply for this special acknowledgment of their hard work and perseverance. Any families who would like to apply for this year’s intake need to do so by November 30.”
The Sloan family from Southland receive their award at this year’s ceremony.