Thomas Macdonald, 24-year-old Business Manager of Spring Sheep Milk Co, has taken out the top honours in the 2018 Zanda McDonald Award. 

The award, sponsored by Allflex, Rabobank and Pilatus, is regarded as a prestigious badge of honour by the agribusiness industry and recognises agriculture’s most innovative young professionals from Australia and New Zealand.

Macdonald, 24, is the Business Manager at Spring Sheep Milk Co, (a business jointed owned by Landcorp Farming Limited and SLC Group) based in the Waikato.  In his role as Business Manager, Thomas runs farm development, farm operations and on-farm research. He has a Masters of Management and is also a Sir Don Llewellyn Scholar.

Launched in 2014, the Zanda McDonald Award is run by the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group in memory of Australian beef industry leader Zanda McDonald, who died aged 41 following an accident on his Queensland property in 2013. 

The award was presented Tuesday night in Taupo at the annual PPP Conference. Macdonald receives an impressive prize package valued at $50,000, which includes a place at Rabobank’s business management programmes, plus mentoring sessions with some of agriculture’s top business professionals.

Chief Executive of Pāmu, Steven Carden said Thomas’ friends and colleagues at Pāmu are celebrating his success.

 “We’re very proud to see Thomas’ hard work being commended. At Pāmu, he is seen as a very talented young leader and continues to be outstanding in his skills. It’s great to see the talent in our organisation being celebrated”.

“Thomas started with Pāmu in 2014 and has quickly progressed in the organisation, recently taking up the role of Business Manager for Spring Sheep Milk Co – jointly owned by Pāmu.

“Our focus on innovation is showcased in business ventures like Spring Sheep Milk Co. Last year we picked up two awards at the NZ Food Awards, and now seeing Thomas being awarded in his own right, gives us ongoing recognition of our innovation efforts”. Mr Carden says.

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