1 January 2010
The announcement of a national winner will be a feature of the 2011 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
For the first time in the history of the competition an overall winner will be chosen from the nine regions participating.
With entries for the 2011 Ballance Farm Environment Awards set to open soon, New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust (NZFEA) general manager David Natzke says the new award adds a little extra spice to the popular competition.
He says the NZFEA National Winner of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards will be chosen from nine supreme regional winners by an independent panel of judges.
"All our sponsors are on board with this new development. They see it as a great way to take the competition to a new level."
While the national title will obviously hold great status, Mr Natzke says the winner shouldn't expect to be showered with cash.
"That's never been the way of the awards. Instead we will be looking at prizes that will help the winner to develop their personal, business and leadership/industry skills combined with goods and services from the family of sponsors."
Entries for the Northland, Bay of Plenty, Horizons, Canterbury and East Coast regions open on September 1. Entries for the Greater Wellington region open on September 6, with Otago, Southland and Waikato entries opening on October 1.
Mr Natzke urges farmers to support the competition by nominating either themselves or other farmers.
He says past entrants have described their participation in the awards as a highly rewarding experience. Strong attendances at Supreme-winner field days this year shows that farmer interest in the awards is running strong.
"Most people enter because they want feedback on how their farming or horticultural operation stacks up in terms of environmental sustainability. Entrants also seek ideas from competition judges and other participants on how to improve the sustainability of their businesses."
Supreme winners from each region will be honoured at a Sustainability Showcase event next year to be held in the East Coast region.
Information on the awards and an entry form can be obtained from www.bfea.org.nz.The awards are sponsored by Ballance Agri-Nutrients, along with LIC, Hill Laboratories, Massey University, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and PGG Wrightson.
They are also backed by Environment Waikato, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, Otago Regional Council, Northland Regional Council, Hawke's Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.