Bruce Wills is agriculture's communicator of year
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills has been named 2014 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year by the Guild of Agricultural Communicators.
"I am extremely humbled and thank the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators for what is a great honour," Wills said at the award dinner in Hamilton.
"Given the Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year has such a long history and reads like a who's who of the media and agricultural profession, this is an honour I share with my board, provincial presidents and every elected member of the federation."
Guild president Graeme Peters said Wills was a worthy recipient of this year's award.
"He is widely respected for his role in bridging the gap between rural and urban people, and has spent countless hours talking not only farmers to but also urban people, selling the importance of agriculture to New Zealand's economy," Peters said.
Wills farms with his brother at Te Pohue, on a sheep and beef operation carrying 7500 stock units. The farm is 1134 hectares, of which 800 ha are farmed. The balance is in trees with 110 ha protected through the QEII National Trust.
He left a career in rural banking after 20 years to return to the family farm and has invested heavily in the long-term sustainability of the farm.
Regarded as the premier award for agricultural communicators, Wills' award is also the most valuable prize on offer.
Landcorp provides a prize of $2500, which is part of a funding package of $7500 in sponsorship for the guild.
Wills was also presented with a greenstone and timber trophy, which features a roll call of previous winners engraved on the back.