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Exceptional Communication and Leadership Skills Help Gordon Stephenson Trophy- Winners Stand Out

29 June 2016

Exceptional Communication and Leadership Skills Help Gordon Stephenson Trophy- Winners Stand Out

The strong leadership abilities demonstrated by Gordon Stephenson trophy recipients Richard and Dianne Kidd will make them great ambassadors for New Zealand agriculture, says Joanne van Polanen, chair of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards National Winner judging panel.

The Kidds, who were Supreme winners of the inaugural Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards, were announced 2016 National Winners at a National Sustainability Showcase hosted by the New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust in Northland on June 22.

Richard and Dianne own a 376ha sheep, beef and forestry unit, Whenuanui Farm, on the edge of Auckland city.

National Winner judges Joanne van Polanen, Warwick Catto, Jamie Strang, Charmaine O’Shea, Stephen Hall and George Murdoch had the tough job of choosing the National Winners from a talented pool of candidates.

Joanne van Polanen said the Kidds displayed exceptional communication and leadership skills during the interview process.

They also demonstrated a broad knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture, both nationally and globally.

“Richard and Dianne are passionate about sheep and beef farming and they regard it as a privilege to farm so close to New Zealand’s largest city. Their operation is a shining example of the huge contribution agriculture makes to the Auckland region.”

Joanne said the judging panel was impressed with the Kidd family’s management of their operation, assisted by long-time manager Jeffrey Bradly.

“Richard and Dianne have complementary skills and work as a team to achieve their goals. Their long-term focus on environmental stewardship and business sustainability makes them great models for other farmers to follow.”

Members of the judging panel also commented on the impressive stock and financial performance achieved by the Kidd family’s operation.

“Their commitment to the environment has opened up opportunities and created new revenue streams.”

Judges also noted the strong leadership role the Kidds had taken in their industry and their lengthy and substantial community involvement.

For more information on the 2016 National Winner, visit the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust website www.bfea.org.nz