South Canterbury farming couple Ray and Adrianne Bowan have won the Lincoln University Foundation's South Island Farmer of the Year.
They farm more than 1200 hectares at Orari and another 200 hectares at Coldstream, on the north bank of the Rangitata River.
With 95% of their farm irrigated, they grow potatoes, cereals, barley, maize and grass seeds, and also winter dairy cows.
Two years ago, when a potato chip factory in Washdyke closed down, the Bowans bought it and established Heartland Potato Chips, which employs 15 people.
The Bowans bought their first farm more than 40 years ago. It is now a family affair with their son working on the farm, one daughter working in the office and another daughter, who lives in Christchurch, helping out with marketing.