Supporting Our Communties

Recognising achievement and investing in the future of our farmers and farm leaders is important to us. We do this by supporting initiatives which recognise farming achievement, by supporting our rural communities and by investing in professional development activities for farmers.

Keeping it local is at the heart of Silver Fern Farms and we proudly support the rural communities where we live and operate in.

Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarship

Youth Scholarship logo

Our vision is Inspirational Food created by Passionate People. Providing support to young people who want a future in the food and farming industry is important to Silver Fern Farms. Through the Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships we are committing to investing in our future red meat sector leaders and recognising and rewarding excellence emerging in our communities.

Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships offer young people financial assistance to develop their red meat sector careers and capabilities in food and farming each year.

Youth Scholarship Details

Silver Fern Farms is offering six annual $5,000 scholarships to provide a financial boost to young people who will shape the future of the food and farming industry in New Zealand.

Scholarship applications are open to people wanting to develop their career in the food or farming industry with interests in; red meat, farming, agriculture, marketing and sales, research and development, food processing, cooking and food technology.

  • Each scholarship is valued at $5000 to be paid in the year it is awarded
  • Recipients will be presented with the scholarship at the Plate to Pasture Farmers Conference
  • Recipients will receive flights, accommodation and attendance at Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference in Dunedin in August
  • Scholarships will be awarded to applicants from the following Silver Fern Farms regions:
    • Northland
    • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
    • Western North Island
    • Eastern North Island
    • Upper South Island
    • Lower South Island

Scholarship Criteria

  • Applications must be received by 5.00pm Tuesday 1 August 2017 via email
  • Scholarship applications are invited from anyone aged between 17 and 25
  • Applicants must be supported by a Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Shareholder
  • The scholarship recipients will receive a cash grant of $5,000 for the year it is awarded in
  • The scholarship funds must be spent to help the recipient to further their career in the red meat sector. For example; studying at polytechnic, university, a farm cadet programme or a food science or culinary design school 
  • Applicants need to have a good academic record, good interpersonal skills and a passion for food and farming
  • Recipients must allow Silver Fern Farms to publish information on them on their website and in marketing collateral 
  • Recipients must agree to stay in touch with Silver Fern Farms to update on their achievements
  • Recipients must provide proof that the funds have been spent according to the criteria.

Applying For The Scholarship

  • Complete the application form and return to by 5pm Tuesday 1 August 2017
  • Arrange for a Silver Fern Farm Co-operative Shareholder to support your application
  • Applicants will be required to attend an interview either in person or by phone or video conference as part of the selection process (NB: at Silver Fern Farms’ cost).

Download Application Form

Selection Process

Silver Fern Farms reviews all applications. We will call shortlisted applicants to discuss their application and how they meet the scholarship criteria. It is very important for applicants to provide a phone number we can call during business hours. Scholarships will be awarded on the recommendation of a scholarship selection committee.

Professional Development

Co-operative Governance Scholarship

Up to two annual scholarships are available for farmer shareholders who aspire to take on positions as Directors of agribusinesses.

The scholarships are designed to assist Silver Fern Farms shareholders to develop their governance capabilities. The scholarship offers a unique mix of development opportunities:

  • Subsidised course fees to assist applicants to take part in the Fonterra Governance Development Programme
  • Mentoring by a Silver Fern Farms Director
  • A chance to take a place as an observer on the Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Board

Burnside Hart Co-operative Education Trust

We have established the Burnside Hart Co-operative Education Trust to advance education and leadership training to those seeking to enhance their skills for the benefit of New Zealand’s primary sector.

SFF2533 Burnside Hart Logo Positive2

Supporting Our Communities

Silver Fern Farms Te Aroha Events Centre

Just before Christmas in 2010 our Te Aroha beef processing site was nearly totally destroyed by fire. Thankfully no one was hurt in the event.

Without a plant, the potential loss of 350 jobs would have been a significant blow to the community of nearly 4,000. Our people were offered roles at our other sites in the North Island as our Te Aroha beef plant underwent a $67m rebuild. We now employ around 400 people at this state-of-the-art flagship facility.

Together with our local farmer-suppliers we jointly contributed $500,000 to a dedicated Te Aroha Community Fund while the rebuild took place.

The $500,000 has seen the establishment of the Silver Fern Farms Te Aroha Events Centre in association with the Te Aroha Events Centre Charitable Trust. The Events Centre has been a long-hoped-for facility in the Te Aroha area to support community health and wellbeing.

The Silver Fern Farms Te Aroha Events Centre is due to officially open in late 2016.


Cooking for Change

Cooking 4 Change is a movement created by Dick Frizzell, Erin Simpson, and Christian Kasper, with the involvement of many other Kiwis, to connect the world through food, and to help organisations in New Zealand and around the world change things for the better.

Silver Fern Farms is the premium sponsor of the Cooking 4 Change. We’re proud to be part of a cookbook featuring more than 100 famous New Zealanders in their kitchen cooking and sharing their favourite recipes.

All profits go towards longstanding local charities Paw Justice, Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand, Starship Foundation and Auckland City Mission. 

Learn More

Feed Drive

Managing drought is a challenge in farming. What starts as a week without rain, which farmers can manage, can quickly become a month or more without significant moisture, which affects the amount of grass available for livestock, and it cuts into a farm’s reserves of hay and baleage. It’s often said that drought can ‘creep up‘ on a farmer’s best laid plans.

In 2015 parts of the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island were officially declared drought zones by the Government, and the Rural Support Trust swung into support mode for farmers. North Canterbury was particularly hard hit. Our North Canterbury Livestock Representatives Jack Frizzell and Sam Matson supported our farmers by assisting in the co-ordination of a ‘feed drive’. They offered donated hay and baleage to around 50 Silver Fern Farms farmers affected by the drought in the region.

We put together a short video of how we help out in situations like these to let our consumers know how they too could help out by donating to the Rural Support Trust.

Watch Video

 Cooking for change cover


Rewarding Farming excellence

We are also proud sponsors of the Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year and the South Island Farmer of the Year contests.



 Hawkes bay farmer of the year logo2

The Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year Award finds, promotes, and celebrates excellence in farming in the region. The competition picks out Hawke’s Bay’s talented farmers and promotes their passion and commitment to producing inspirational food.

In supporting the Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year Award, we are recognising excellence, giving feedback, and investing in our farmers’ long-term future, a key to our sustainability.

Learn more



South island farmer of the year2

Silver Fern Farms promotes excellence in South Island farming by recognising those leading the sector through the South Island Farmer of the Year competition. The competition aims to recognise excellence in the farming sector and promote that excellence so other primary producers can learn from it and be inspired by it.

Within the competition, we also sponsor the Plate to Pasture Award, to recognise red meat farmers who farm with the consumer in mind.




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