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Ballance Farm Environment Awards Up and Running In Taranaki

28 August 2013

Ballance Farm Environment Awards Up and Running In Taranaki

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards have arrived in Taranaki.

Awards-facilitator, the New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust, has formed a partnership with the Taranaki Regional Council to bring the highly successful competition to the Taranaki region. The agreement was finalised in August 2013, meaning Taranaki farmers and horticulturists are eligible to enter the 2014 Awards.

NZFE chair Alistair Polson says the trust is delighted to deliver the Ballance Farm Environment Awards to the region.

“Taranaki is a well-established farming area with many top operators who take great pride in their farms. This competition will give the region the opportunity to showcase some magnificent examples of Taranaki farmers doing what they do best.”

Mr Polson also welcomed the Taranaki Regional Council on board as a regional partner.

“Taranaki Regional Council has always shown a strong ethic when it comes to promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. I’m sure Taranaki Regional Council’s involvement with the Ballance Farm Environment Awards will be extremely beneficial for the region’s farmers, orchardists and the wider community.”

Chairman of the Taranaki Regional Council, David MacLeod, says the Ballance Farm Environment Awards complement the Council’s own long-established Environmental Awards, now into their third decade.

“The Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards play an important role in highlighting environmental achievement across all sectors of the regional community. They’re a celebration, not a competition,” says Mr MacLeod.

He says the Council’s awards were revamped and upgraded this year and have a strong and secure future.

“The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are a bonus. They give the region’s agricultural achievers an opportunity to benchmark themselves against the best in the nation.”

The addition of Taranaki brings the number of regions involved in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) to ten.

Open to all farming and horticultural types, the awards promote sustainable land management by showcasing the work of people farming in a way that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

Mr Polson urges all Taranaki farmers, including orchardists, vegetable growers and viticulturists, to enter the competition.

“Most people enter because they want feedback on how their farming operation stacks up in terms of environmental and economic sustainability,” he says.

“Entrants receive valuable advice from competition judges and other participants on how to improve the sustainability of their businesses.”

Mr Polson says information sharing is a key plank of the competition. “Farmers in the Taranaki region will be able to share knowledge and experiences with farmers from the other regions involved in the Awards.”

The Supreme winner of the 2014 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards will be honoured at NZFE’s annual Sustainability Showcase next year. A National Winner is announced at this event, with the title holder receiving the prestigious Gordon Stephenson trophy.

Regional competitions also offer a host of category awards.

Entering the competition is easy and the judging process is conducted in a relaxed and friendly manner.

Entries for the competition are now open and entries for the 2014 Taranaki BFEA close on October 20, 2013.

Entry forms are available on-line at www.bfea.org.nz.

For more information, contact Alistair Polson, NZFE Trust, phone 06 342 2853/ 0274 370 085, or Rusty Ritchie, Communications Manager, Taranaki Regional Council, phone (06) 765 7127.

For more information on the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, contact David Natzke, General Manager, New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, phone 07 834 0400, emaildavid.natzke@nzfeatrust.org.nz.