Zimmatic Blog

New Zealand’s “Zimmatic™ Trailblazer” Awards Support Industry Sustainability Efforts

May 24, 2021

New Zealand’s “Zimmatic™ Trailblazer” Awards Support Industry Sustainability Efforts

The Lindsay team in the Asia Pacific region is excited to launch the 2021 Zimmatic™ Trailblazer Sustainable Irrigation Awards, which celebrate the efforts of one of New Zealand’s primary industries to explore ways to become more innovative, sustainable and collaborative.

Stu Bradbury, Zimmatic strategic adviser for Lindsay, says finding new ways to protect and efficiently manage water as one of our most precious natural resources is paramount.

“Achieving sustainable freshwater management will help maintain our sector’s license to operate and future-proof our food and fiber industry. Responsible irrigation and water management can make a big difference to farm productivity, the environment and the prosperity of our rural communities.

“The Trailblazer Awards aim to celebrate excellence in sustainable irrigation. The competition recognizes farmers leading the way in responsible irrigation, innovative water management and environmental stewardship. It also encourages farmers to share ideas for achieving sustainable freshwater management.”

Last year’s inaugural awards attracted 21 entries, with four New Zealand finalists chosen.

Keri Johnston, IrrigationNZ chair and Irricon Resource Solutions principal, served as head judge. She says all four 2020 finalists demonstrated a high level of achievement across all areas, which set them apart from the others.

“We were so impressed by the number and caliber of entrants. All the finalists deserved commendation, but it was Ted and Sue Rollinson who deserved to win the New Zealand competition because of their dedication to continuous improvement over many years.

“Ted and Sue are just as passionate today as they were when they started. The fact that they have upgraded their irrigation system several times as technology and efficiencies have improved, and are still looking for more opportunities, is testament to their commitment to being irrigation trailblazers.” 

Bradbury says there is an opportunity for innovative farming pioneers to influence future generations.

“These farmers have a role to play in strengthening the New Zealand success story as global leaders in sustainable and profitable farming. The Awards are an opportunity for our agricultural and irrigation industries, together with the farming community, to recognize those who are making a difference. We want the Awards to get people talking about smart practices and innovative technology options farmers can use to improve their irrigation and freshwater management.

“It’s also about promoting leadership across the primary sector. We’re looking for farmers who are in it ‘boots and all’ when it comes to water management. And then giving them a platform from which to share their stories with their peers and a wider audience.”

The judges are looking for innovation in water management, steps taken to ensure sustainable water use on farm, and an obvious passion for protecting one of our most precious natural resources.

Nominations and entries are now open for the 2021 Zimmatic Trailblazer Sustainable Irrigation Awards. This year, all farmers and farming operations in New Zealand irrigating over 25 hectares on their property or properties are eligible. The Awards will be held in Australia in 2022. 

Together, Lindsay and its Awards partners are offering a total prize package for 2021 of more than NZ$16,000.

The Awards have been made possible thanks to the support and generosity of New Zealand industry partners Farmers Weekly, Irricon, Vantage NZ and IrrigationNZ.

For more information about the Awards visit www.irrigationtrailblazer.com.