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Northland Award Winners 2020

Northland Award Winners 2020

3 June 2020

Beef farmers Jeff Martin and Helen Linssen have been named 2020 Regional Supreme Winners in the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards, run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

The awards champion sustainable farming and growing through a programme which sees one Regional Supreme Winner selected from each of the 11 regions involved. All Regional Supreme Winners are in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy, with the winner of this national award to be announced at a later date.

A commitment to quality and waterway management has established Jeff and Helen as industry leaders, while their beef farming approach is successful in terms of both liveweight gains and sustainability. 


The judges said they are walking the talk - running a successful, modern farming business tailored well to Northland conditions, plus generously sharing their time and experience throughout the wider industry.

“We were inspired by their commitment to research, planning and implementation of a whole farm system, carefully designed around financially and environmentally sustainable production,” the judges said.

“Climate resilience and adaptation is built into the business, with an emphasis on water security, soil protection, land retirement, and planting suited to the land capability.

The Far North business is run across three properties, with the success of their management plan reflected in the amount and quality of pasture. GPS mapping divides the properties into grazing cells, allowing stock to be moved regularly and have long winter rotations. The judges commended the creation of generous riparian buffers, along with biodiversity protection and enhancement.

“Jeff and Helen’s commitment to their farming business, community, staff and wider industry are exemplary.”

Read more about the Linssens.

As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, they also received the:

  • Northland Regional Council Water Quality Enhancement Award 
  • Norwood Agri-Business Management Award 
  • Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
  • Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award
  • Synlait Climate Stewardship Award 
  • WaterForce Wise with Water Award 

Other 2020 Northland Award winners

Ballance Farm Environment Awards National Sponsors