Jordan Biddles (23) is a stock manager with the Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust and looks after a 400ha finishing block on its Rawhiti Station in Hawke’s Bay. He sees the Ahuwhenua Young Maori competition as an essential part of building a career.
“As a young candidate coming through you have to do these awards if you want to go somewhere in the farming sector.
“You have to take all the challenges that are given.”
He says the competition allowed him to benchmark himself against all the other candidates around Zealand, although he admits that throughout the judging process, he was convinced he didn’t have a chance.
“The hardest part was getting past the fear of actually believing I could do it, because all the way along I thought I didn’t have a show.
“I’d finished school at 15 and started work – but a lot of guys were still studying.”
He says the biggest driver for him was the thought of having that award on his CV.
“Once I got it on there nobody can take it off.”
After leaving school, Jordan became a father at just 17 to Kyla. He has since had another child Matene, but has managed to juggle work and father duties with extramural study to further develop his skills and knowledge-base.
The farm Jordan is running, which runs 29 stock units per hectare, has entered the Ahuwhenua Trophy this year.