North Island New Zealander Sam Vivian-Greer from Masterton has won the NZ judging of the Zanda McDonald Award.
Mr Vivian-Greer, 31, a farm consultant at BakerAg in the Wairarapa region, works with farmers to improve their operations, and develops mentoring groups for farm managers and agricultural professionals.
The annual award, regarded as a badge of honour by the agribusiness industry, recognises and supports talented and passionate young professionals in the Australian and NZ ag sector.
Lambpro operations manager Rozzie O'Reilly, 28, won the Australian Zanda McDonald Award title in February.
The award would normally crown one Australasian winner, but in response to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, both an Australian and a NZ winner were selected this year.
Zanda McDonald Award patron Shane McManaway described Mr Vivian-Greer as a warm and professional person with a strong passion for agriculture and leadership spirit, who was having a really positive influence on the sector.
His prize package includes an all-expenses paid trans-Tasman mentoring trip to high-performing farms and businesses in Australia and NZ, $NZ10,000 towards further education, and networking opportunities.
His travel for parts of his mentoring program will be on board a specially chartered Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.
He was "stoked" to receive the award.
"It's a huge honour, and I'm just blown away, Mr Vivian-Greer said.
"I'm really looking forward to spending time with top ag leaders in NZ and Australia, finding out more about how they tick, and how I can apply those learnings to my own career, and the sector."
The NZ award ceremony was held on the beach at Whangara Farms near Gisborne, providing a breathtaking coastal backdrop for the proceedings.
Finalists were welcomed onto the land with a karakia at dawn.
Mr Vivian-Greer was named as a finalist alongside Genevieve Steven, 26, a farm enterprise consultant at KPMG in Ashburton; Jenna Smith, 34, the chief executive of Pouarua Farms in the Hauraki Plains, and Becks Smith, 33, a director of The Whole Story and a veterinarian at VetEnt in Ranfurly.
As part of their time in Gisborne they spent three days broadening their knowledge with intensive media training and sessions with leaders in the sector.
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