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BoP Farmers Enjoy Benefits of Ballance Farm Environment Awards

7 September 2011

BoP Farmers Enjoy Benefits of Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Bay of Plenty sheep and beef farmers Tony and Joanna Carr say their first time in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

The Carrs, who farm 400ha on the eastern shores of Lake Rotorua, won the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Award in the 2011 BoP Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Tony Carr says they entered the competition largely as a learning exercise and to find out how their farming operation stacked up in terms of long term sustainability.

Over the years the Carrs have planted a significant number of trees for stock shelter, wildlife habitat enhancement and erosion protection. They have also focused on reducing the flooding risk on flat contour and minimising nutrient run-off from steeper country.

Tony says their participation in the competition made them reflect on how much environmental work had been done on the third-generation family farm.

“Being involved in the competition makes you look at your farm through different eyes. It really highlighted the benefits of taking a holistic approach to sustainable land management.”

Tony says the judging process was relaxed and enjoyable.

“Feedback from the judges was very positive and encouraging. They pointed out one or two areas we could improve on in future, so we will work on these and probably enter the competition again in two or three years time.”

The Carrs also appreciated the way the competition brought together like-minded farmers to share ideas and provide encouragement.

“I think that most farmers are great custodians of the land,” says Tony.

“We all need to farm sustainably.”

He and Joanna would certainly recommend the competition to other farmers.

“It’s a very good event to be involved with and I think everybody can learn something from it.

“We certainly got good value out of it.”

Entries for the 2012 BoP Ballance Farm Environment Awards open on September 1, 2011.

For more information on entering the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards, contact Bay of Plenty BFEA Regional Coordinator Kirsten Winter, phone (07) 573 5238, (0275) 721 244 or email bop@bfea.org.nz.

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