Farmers take out environmental awards

The results are in and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards have produced a lineup of nine supreme regional winners.

The results are in and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards have produced a lineup of nine supreme regional winners.

They will be honoured at a sustainability showcase in Wellington on June 23, along with a national winner.

The awards were established in 1993 and are now run by an independent trust, with the aim of showing farmers that profitability need not compromise environmental values.

Winners included Pukekawa vegetable growers Chris and Vikki Nicholson, Hinemoa Quality Producers Ltd, who won the supreme title in the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The Bay of Plenty title went to Mamaku dairy farm owners Jim and Barbara Hitchcock and their sharemilkers, Rhys and Kim Meredith.

Another dairy operation, Walden Farms Oruaiti Ltd, was named supreme winner of the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Walden Farms is owned by Murray and Liz Walden and sharemilked by their son Clive and his wife Jorja.

Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer James Hunter won the supreme title in the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards and Landcorp’s Rangedale Station, managed by Paul and Donna Edwards, was supreme winner for the Horizons region.

Wairarapa hill-country sheep and beef farm, Wairere Station, owned by the Derek Daniell Trust, was supreme winner of the Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and high-country farmers Dan and Mandy Shand won the top title in Canterbury.

Newhaven Farms Ltd, a North Otago sheep, beef, forestry and dairy support operation run by Blair and Jane Smith, was the supreme winner for the Otago region, and Opio dairy farmers Michael and Karen Blomfield were supreme winners for Southland.

David Natzke says the calibre of entrants in this year’s competition was outstanding, leaving the regional judging panels “faced with some really tough decisions”.

Entries for the 2013 round open on August 1.

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