27 April 2016
The 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards have delivered an outstanding line-up of Supreme winners from the eleven regions participating in the prestigious competition.
Auckland is the latest region to join the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, with Helensville sheep, beef and forestry farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd claiming the region’s first Supreme title. Fellow sheep and beef farmers Dennis and Rachelle O’Callaghan, Taipa, were Supreme winners in Northland, with large scale kiwifruit operation BAYGOLD Ltd, Paengaroa, winning in the Bay of Plenty.
Waikato’s Supreme title went to Puahue dairy farmers John Hayward and Susan O’Regan, and Hastings growers Graham and Marian Hirst were winners for East Coast. Taranaki’s Supreme award went to an Ohangai dairy and forestry venture owned by Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW), managed by Matt Kelbrick and supervised by Roger Landers. Nukumaru dairy farm owners David and Adrienne Hopkins and sharemilkers Ben and Belinda Price were Supreme winners for the Horizons region.
Martinborough sheep and beef farmers Daniel and Reidun Nicholson won Greater Wellington’s Supreme award and Geraldine sharemilkers Joe and Suz Wyborn took out the title in Canterbury. Portobello sheep and beef farmers Brendon and Paula Cross were named Supreme winners of the Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards, with Redcliff sheep, beef and dairy support farmers Shane Gibbons and Bridget Speight claiming the Supreme title for Southland.
New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFE) chairman Simon Saunders says the Awards programme has once again highlighted the exceptional level of farming talent in our primary sector.
“This year’s entrants, previous entrants and award-winning farmers are leading the way in sustainable farming,” he says.
“Good farmers and growers are more resilient to adverse climatic conditions. They are more efficient and more profitable. They utilise the latest technology to help them manage their natural resources and they preserve and grow biodiversity. They understand and manage nutrient loss and they enhance water quality. They keep their family and staff safe and happy, and they work tirelessly in their communities. Their efforts help agriculture remain a pillar of our economy.”
All of the 2016 Supreme winners will be honoured at NZFE Trust’s National Sustainability Showcase on June 22 in the Bay of Islands, Northland. The National Winner will be announced at this event, receiving the prestigious Gordon Stephenson trophy.
Supreme winners also host field days on their properties.
“I’d urge all farmers to get along to these field days because they are both educational and inspirational,” says Mr Saunders.
Entries for the 2017 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open on August 1, 2016, and all farmers and horticulturists should consider entering.
“Don’t put if off. As past-entrants will tell you, there is much to learn and nothing to lose. You don’t have to be the best farmer in the district and you don’t have to have the prettiest farm. The judges look past climatic events and their impacts, and the free advice they offer will help you to meet the challenges of the future.”
More information on the Ballance Farm Environment Awards can be found on the NZFE Trust website www.bfea.org.nz