13 October 2008
Greg Glover’s new role as chairman of the Farm Environment Award Trust Waikato sits nicely with his passion for promoting good business and environmental management. The award-winning Waikato dairy farmer is keen to spread the message that the majority of farmers “care very much about the environment”.
As someone who walks easily between rural and urban situations, he regards the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as the ideal vehicle to showcase the positive aspects of farming to the wider public.
“There is a lot of misunderstanding out there, so I think it is crucial that we can prove to the urban population that we are improving our processes all the time and we have very good reason to be proud of what we are doing.”
Greg and wife Gerry run a 950-cow operation on 255ha ‘Drumlea Farm’, southwest of Hamilton. Their management philosophy is based on maximising profitability and environmental sustainability while providing an excellent workplace for staff.
This approach has earned them several awards. In 2003 their Ngahinapouri farm won the Most Sustainable Business (all categories) in the Westpac Business Awards. In the same year they also won the National Environment Award in the Fonterra-Westpac Dairy Farmer of the Year competition and the ANZ Grow Award in the Waikato Farm Environment Awards.
Greg has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for many years.
He says the awards are all about promoting best farm practice and highlighting some of the innovative ideas farmers come up with to improve the sustainability of their businesses. These ideas are then shared with the wider farming community.
Entries for the 2009 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards opened on October 1 and Greg says farmers have much to gain by entering “because there is so much to learn”.
“Rather than being a finger-pointing exercise, the judging process is more of an informal discussion that encourages farmers to really think about what they are doing and how they can improve in future.”
And the information that comes out of the awards programme is proving increasingly valuable.
“Farming has come a long way in the last 100 years, but we are still very much on that journey of gaining knowledge. I think in the next 10 to 20 years we will find some very smart ways to improve the sustainability of our businesses.”
For more information, or for an entry form for the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards, contact Phillipa Crequer, Waikato regional coordinator, phone (07) 8555179 or email Waikato@bfea.org.nz