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 Winners 2017

Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarship winners 2017

Silver Fern Farms Chief Executive Dean Hamilton says the talent emerging from the scholarship applications indicates a bright future for the broader red meat sector.

“We were overwhelmed at receiving 79 applications. The standard and passion from the applicants exceeded all expectations when we launched the Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships. Our panel certainly had a challenging job making their selections and we extend our thanks to all of the young people that took the time to apply and to the Co-operative shareholders who supported their applications.”

The scholarship recipients each receive $5,000 to further their careers in the sector. 

The Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships have been awarded to people in the following regions:

Grace Van Tilborg – Northland
Hugh Jackson – Waikato and Bay of Plenty
Jake Jarman – Western North Island
Nicole Harvey – Eastern North Island
Joshua Kirk – Upper South Island
Zac Johnston – Lower South Island

As part of the process, applicants were asked to identify what they see as the biggest challenge or opportunity in the food industry and what they would do about it.

“The winners delivered ideas on a vast range of industry issues. These included a fresh look at dealing with biosecurity challenges, the development of food technology processes to extend the shelf life and flavour of red meat, exploring ways to sustainably add value to farming businesses, selling the story of New Zealand’s natural ‘artisan agriculture’ to the world, as well as challenging the industry to think big and be bold.”

The Scholarship Criteria

  • 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.


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 the sustainability of our co-operative.




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