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Diverse sheep and beef farm in Featherston announced Regional Supreme Winner of Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards

4 April 2019

Diverse sheep and beef farm in Featherston announced Regional Supreme Winner of Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards

A multi-faceted sheep and beef farm in Featherston, Palliser Ridge, was announced the Regional Supreme Winner at this evening’s 2019 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards programme champions sustainable farming and growing and sees one Regional Supreme Winner selected from each of the 11 regions involved. These Regional Supreme Winners will be profiled at the Awards’ National Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton, on Thursday 6 June, with each in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy.

Palliser Ridge is the Regional Supreme Winner thanks to its social and environmental stewardship. Jim Law and wife Marilyn are the majority shareholders of Palliser Ridge and their farm manager Kurt Portas, and his wife Lisa, are part owners dedicated to helping the business thrive.

A diverse entity, Palliser Ridge also sells 10 tonnes of lambs’ wool and 20 tonnes of ewes’ wool each year, runs an off-grid retreat and on-farm tour enterprise, and creates and markets its own honey, lambs’ wool and hand-knitted clothing products used to demonstrate the wonders of wool.

Committed to enhancing the environment/biodiversity; ensuring excellent animal health and welfare; empowering and motivating their workforce; and maintaining tidy and efficient infrastructure, the Laws and Portases impressed the judges with their drive to go the extra mile. Their energy reverberates throughout the business, from their effectively marketed products to the genuine, memorable tourism experiences they create, both managed by Lisa. 

The judges were impressed by Palliser Ridge’s lateral thinking: “This is an innovative business which leverages its farm outputs and natural features with its environment front of mind.” 

Jim Law said: “The judges are highly regarded in the farming and environmental world and the interaction with them is stimulating and helps to reinforce what you are doing. During our first Awards’ experience, it highlighted and reminded us of areas where we were deficient and we have since focused on this. We have a good, enthusiastic team and we believe in good farming.”     

This year, Palliser Ridge is the esteemed recipient of not only the Supreme Regional Award but also the:

  • Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award - focused on the all-important people side of the farming and growing business;
  • Massey University Innovation Award - this recognises the farmer or grower that demonstrated Kiwi ingenuity for solving a problem or pursuing a new opportunity;
  • Norwood Agri-Business Management Award - for farmers accomplishing the important management practices of operating a successful farm business.

Each year, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards’ ceremonies, the National Sustainability Showcase, and winners' field days offer a unique, pan-sector forum for networking and the sharing of ideas and information among farming/growers peers, agribusiness professionals and the wider community.