Since 2014 the Plate to Pasture Awards have recognised the excellence of farmers who consistently supply quality stock to meet consumers’ needs.

The Plate to Pasture Award is about recognising farmers who live and breathe food and understand what their consumers want from quality red meat and the people who produce it. 

In the 2017 Plate to Pasture Awards we dialled up the focus on food: ‘Food people challenge - Promote your red meat’


  • Specification and presentation

  • Shareholding in the co-operative 

  • Supply timing (with a weighting for being able to supply in times when we need stock for customers’ chilled programmes)

  • Supply volume

  • Supplying direct through their Silver Fern Farms Livestock Representative

  • Loyalty over multiple seasons

  • Farm Assurance status

Congratulations to our Plate to Pasture 2017 Winners

Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmers Leicester and Margaret, Callum and Sarah, Philip and Juliette Gray won the 2017 Plate to Pasture award for their outstanding consumer focus. ‘Waimarino’ has been farmed by the Gray family for 113 years, with 1009 hectares of owned and leased land near Waipawa in the Central Hawke's Bay. Their goals are to farm first-rate livestock grown to specification, together with environmentally sustainable land utilisation profitably, the Gray family are excellent ambassadors for the industry and Silver Fern Farms.

Our Regional Finalists


Douglas and Anne Conn - Dargaville
Woodburn Park Tangowahine Ltd

Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Simon and Eve Saxton - Tuakau
Karnali Downs Ltd

Western North Island

Duncan and Rhonda Oliver - Otorohanga
Rangitoto Lands

Eastern North Island

Leicester & Margaret, Callum & Sarah, and Phillip & Juliette Gray - Waipawa
Gray Bros

Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Ross and Margaret Manson, Rodney and Sonia Booth and Rowan Manson and Corrie Gibb
Dunfield Farming

Lower South Island

Peter Aitken and Mark and Debbie Ritchie
Cross Brothers

How do we find our Plate to Pasture Award winner for 2017?


Each of our 6 Regional Winners will have a judging panel visit their farms for 2-3 hours to look at how they farm with the consumer in mind.


The judging panel asks questions covering farm policy, strategy and governance, people development, environmental management, and importantly – consumer awareness. This year there is a new element to the judging – the food people challenge, which tests how well they promote a red meat dish.


Download Judging assessment form


Anne-Marie Allen - Silver Fern Farms 2016 Plate to Pasture Award winner

Anne-Marie and husband Chris farm ‘Annadale’ at Ashburton Forks. They showed a particularly strong focus on mastering sustainable farming techniques (water, nutrients, biodiversity, animal welfare, farm financial performance) and stock quality in order to meet the needs of consumers – the key factor behind their farm business being named the Plate to Pasture Award winners for 2016. Anne-Marie has extensive business management experience. She completed both the Burnside Hart Silver Fern Farms Co-operative ‘To the Core’ course and the Institute of Directors’ Leading Co-operative Essentials course in 2016.

Justin CourtneyHead of Communications and Sustainability Silver Fern Farms

As the Head of Communications and Sustainability Justin leads the sustainability programme as well as all internal and external communications at Silver Fern Farms. Justin has spent 15 years in communications and marketing roles predominantly in the agribusiness sector in Australia, Europe and New Zealand.

Dan Jex-BlakeDirector Silver Fern Farms

Dan was elected to the Silver Fern Farms Board in 2013. He is the Managing Director of Mangapoike Ltd, a 24,000 stock unit pastoral farming company near Gisborne. He was invited to take part of the 2014 Rabobank Global Farmers Masterclass and has completed the 2014/15 Fonterra Governance Development Programme. Together with his partner Tam they were named the Sheep Industry Awards Trainer of the year in 2016.

Dr Richard MitchellProfessor and lecturer of the Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Culinary Arts programme

A Professor in Food Design at the Otago Polytechnic’s Food Design Institute, Richard has many years of experience in front of house in tourism, hospitality and the service sector and more than two decades researching and publishing on hospitality consumer behaviour, and design thinking for food.


658 Category Awards
462 Different Farms Awarded
132 Multiple Award Winning Farms

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