Parliament’s Banquet Hall is the venue for a special dinner honouring the Supreme Winners of this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
In late June, Supreme Winners from eight regions will be brought together for the competition’s annual Sustainability Showcase. One of the highlights of this year’s event is the June 26 dinner hosted by Agriculture Minister David Carter at The Beehive.
About 300 guests are expected, including farmers, farm and agribusiness leaders, Government officials and representatives from a range of environmental agencies.
New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust general manager David Natzke says the Sustainability Showcase is held in a different region each year “and this year it is good to be in Wellington where the awards have been very well supported by the Greater Wellington Regional Council”.
Mr Natzke says staging the 2009 Showcase in Wellington will take the Ballance Farm Environment Awards to a broader audience that will include some of the nation’s top decision makers.
“The awards are widely accepted and respected in the agricultural sector but this event will give us the opportunity to show many urban people what the awards have achieved.”
A highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust and MAF Study Scholarship winner.
Open to the previous year’s Supreme Winners, the $15,000 scholarship allows the winner to undertake a major study topic relevant to sustainable and profitable farming as it relates to New Zealand.
Last year the inaugural award went to Canterbury farmer David Ward.
Another popular feature of the Sustainability Showcase is the DVD presentations on all winning farms.
Mr Natzke says the Showcase provides Supreme Winners with a chance to share their philosophies and discuss some of the common factors behind their success.
This year’s Supreme Winners are Gray and Marilyn Baldwin and Hamish and Jane Putt, Waikato, Paul and Joanna McCarthy, Bay of Plenty, Andy and Claire Law, Horizons, Tim and Jo Loe, Greater Wellington/Wairarapa, Nick and Michelle Ward, Canterbury, Stephen and Rhonda Korteweg, Otago, Vaughan and Megan Templeton, Southland, and Peter and Pam Kelly, Northland.
Key sponsors of the 2009 Ballance Farm Environment Awards include Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Silver Fern Farms, LIC, Gallagher Group, Hill Laboratories and PGG Wrightson.
The awards are also backed by Environment Waikato, Environment Bay of Plenty, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, Otago Regional Council and the Northland Regional Council.