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Farm Environment Leaders Join MAF Sustainable Farming Fund Committees

7 February 2008

Farm Environment Leaders Join MAF Sustainable Farming Fund Committees

Industry recognition of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards continues to grow, with a number of former competition entrants selected for the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund committee.

David Natzke, General Manager of the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust (NZFEA), says the trust was delighted to again be invited to nominate representatives to join the committee that will oversee allocation of SFF funding grants for 2008/09.

All five names submitted by NZFEA were accepted. The Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) provides up to $9.5 million in grants for projects that “contribute to the on-going economic, environmental, and social wellbeing of the country’s primary producers”.

Mr Natzke says the people nominated by NZFEA have all been through the Ballance Farm Environment Awards process and are innovative farmers who have proved that good environmental management makes good business sense. “They are top farmers with much to offer, and I know they will make a hugely valuable contribution to the committee.”

The Chairman of the NZFEA Trust, Jim Cotman commented that this has been part of an ongoing working relationship with the MAF Sustainable Farming Team and it provides real rigour to the SFF programme. Jim Cotman was amongst representatives selected.

Mr Natzke says the appointments reflect recognition of the achievements made by the Ballance Farm Environment Awards in promoting environmental sustainability.  He says organisations such as MAF clearly value the credibility, professionalism and independence of the awards programme that currently runs in eight regions throughout the country.

In future NZFEA plans to extend the awards programme to more regions while also forming partnerships with other key industry organisations. “The aim of the awards is to promote sustainable profitable farmers who are leaders in environmental sustainability and provide opportunities for these people to become involved in work that will ultimately benefit New Zealand agriculture and the country as a whole.”