Richard and Sarah Burdon receiving the NZFEA Trust and MAFScholarship from the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon David Carter
Otago farmers Richard and Sarah Burdon were named winners of the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust and MAF Study Scholarship at an event celebrating the 2009 Ballance Farm Environment Awards on June 26.
The announcement was one of the highlights of a Sustainability Showcase dinner held at Parliament’s Banquet Hall to honour the Supreme winners from the eight regions participating in the 2009 awards.
New Zealand Farm Environment Award (NZFEA) Trust general manager David Natkze says the evening was a great success, with around 300 guests enjoying the “contagious enthusiasm” demonstrated by the Supreme winners.
“It was a nice way to celebrate what has been another very successful year for the awards. It was also great to take the programme to Wellington and show some of the nation’s top decision makers just how much farmers care about environmental sustainability.”
The NZFEA and MAF Study Scholarship is open to the previous year’s Supreme winners and allows the winner to study a topic “relevant to sustainable and profitable farming as it relates to New Zealand”.
Mr Natzke says the Burdons, Supreme winners of the 2008 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards, are worthy winners who were clearly thrilled to receive the scholarship. They farm a high country station, ‘Glen Dene’, near Wanaka.
Speaking at the dinner, NZFEA Trust chairman Jim Cotman officially welcomed Massey University to the BFEA sponsorship family and thanked departing sponsor Gallagher for the “considerable support” the company has given over the years.
He also acknowledged the efforts of other key sponsors, including Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Silver Fern Farms, LIC, 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.