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Sustainability Showcase Unites Environmental Award Winners.

29 June 2007

Sustainability Showcase Unites Environmental Award Winners.

Supreme winners of the 2007 Ballance Farm Environment Awards will get the royal treatment at a special Sustainability Showcase in July. Held in the luxury resort of Queenstown on July 12 and 13, the event brings together Supreme winners from the eight regions participating in the annual awards.

David Natzke, general manager of the NZ Farm Environment Awards Trust, says the showcase gives the regional winners the chance to celebrate their success together.

“It’s a good way to say thankyou to these farmers for all the hard work they have put in,” he says “and its also about sharing ideas and encouraging other farmers to adopt management practices that are both economically and environmentally sustainable.”

Mr Natzke says the examples set by previous Supreme winners have helped sustainable farming practices gain acceptance in an era when farmers are under considerable pressure to improve environmental management.

He says the showcase provides these “role models” with a chance to share their philosophies and discuss some of the common factors behind their success.

The Sustainability Showcase will feature video documentaries of the winning farms, and the awards dinner on July 13 will be preceded by a special forum on the topic of urban growth and its impact on farming practices today and in the future.

Key speakers at this forum will include John Aspinall of Mt Aspiring Station – Supreme winner of the 2006 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards - along with fellow farmers Chris Dagg and Debbie McColl. Also speaking will be Gillian Macleod from Queenstown Lakes District Council’s strategy and planning committee.

The forum is open to all members of the public, and the ticket cost of $90 per person includes morning tea, lunch and admission to the Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme Showcase dinner at the Millennium Hotel, Queenstown.

This year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards attracted 140 entries and the Supreme winners were:

Northland: Evan and Sherleen Smeath.

Waikato: Jefferis family.

Bay of Plenty: Coster family.

Horizons: Hew and Roger Dalrymple.

Wellington: Andrew and Anna Renton.

Canterbury: David and Hilary Ward.

Otago: McAtamney family.

Southland: David and Kay Dodunski.

Sponsors of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards include Ballance Agri-Nutrients, PPCS, LIC, Gallagher Group, Hill Laboratories and PGG Wrightson.

The awards are also backed by Environment Waikato, Environment Bay of Plenty, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, Otago Regional Council and the Northland Regional Council.