Best lamb for the 'Glammies' hunt is on
Manawatu, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa have three finalists in the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, also know as the Glammies.
The region has a previous grand winner in Forbes Cameron from Pohangina, who is a finalist again with a growbulk lamb.
Other local finalists include Jane Leogreen from Dannevirke with her texel/perendale/romney, and Matt Wyeth from Masterton with his highlander/primera.
All the other finalists spots in the main lamb categories are taken out by South Islanders with only some retail outlets in the finals from the North Island.
To mark 10 years of Glammies history Beef + Lamb New Zealand' has introduced the special award of the Producer of the Decade to be announced during the final prizegiving.
Grand final head judge and New Zealand Chefs Association president, Graham Hawkes said Kiwis should be proud of the farmers who produces lamb of the highest quality.
"I whole-heartedly believe New Zealand has the best lamb in the world and I think we should be celebrating the work and efforts of our world-class producers," Hawkes said.
"As a chef, I do my best to create innovative and interesting dishes and, as a consumer, I enjoy what's on my plate but I'd like to encourage New Zealanders to acknowledge the farmers who make that a reality."
Each finalist's lamb went through scientific testing to assess its tenderness, yield, colour and succulence.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor said the Glammies was a great way to showcase the premium protein grown by New Zealand sheep farmers.
"We've been staging the event for 10 years and it's a great platform to highlight the attributes that make New Zealand lamb a favourite with consumers both here and around the world but also how farmers and processors work together to ensure that consistent result time after time. That's what sets us apart from other lamb producers around the world."
This year there were 144 farmer entries and 22 retail entries. Four finalists were selected from each category.
From there the finalists' rumps will be judged over two rounds at the Wanaka A&P Show on March 10.
Hawkes will be joined in the judging by Beef + Lamb ambassador chefs Steve Beere from Napier, Alistair Forster from Nelson, Scott Kennedy from Cafe Nero in Palmerston North, and Shaun Clouston, of Wellington.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards Finalists:
CLASS 1 BEST OF BREED: TRADITIONAL
Robert Gardyne, Oturehua (perendale), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Paul, Rachel, Mark and Louise Heslip, Dipton (perendale/romney), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Hamish Mackay, Gore (romney), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Don Morrison, Gore (romney), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
CLASS 2 BEST OF BREED: CROSSBREED
Charles Crutchley, Ranfurly (texel/perendale/romney), processed at Oamaru Meats.
Jane Leogreen, Dannevirke (texel/perendale/romney), processed at Alliance Dannevirke.
Hayden Peter, Wyndham (greeline), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Roger and Alison Thomas, Tuatapere (perendale/texel), processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane.
CLASS 3 BEST OF BREED: TERMINAL CROSS
Gary Fordyce, Gore (composite/texel X), processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane.
Don Morrison, Gore (growbulk/charrollais), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Allan Patterson, Otautau (cooptexel/texel), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Matt Wyeth, Masterton (highlander/primera), processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau.
CLASS 4 BEST OF BREED: OPEN
Doug Brown, Oamaru (poll dorset/texel), processed at Alliance Smithfield.
Forbes Cameron, Ashhurst (growbulk), processed at Alliance Dannevirke.
Robert Gardyne, Oturehua (perendale/suffolk/texel), processed at Alliance Lorneville.
Peter Sim, Garston (textra), processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane.
CLASS 5 RETAIL
Countdown North Island (south suffolk/romney from Kaikohe).
Countdown North Island (southdown/texel/romney from Huntley).
Lifestyle Meats (texel perendale from Ohakune).
Pure South, Alliance Meats (romney/texel from Milton).