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Entries open for 2nd farm environment awards


MEDIA RELEASE


Entries open for second year of farm environment awards

For immediate release: Monday 29 September 2003
A farm environment award that was launched with huge success last year is now open again for entries in the Bay of Plenty.

The first Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards attracted 37 entrants and “exceeded all expectations”, says Bruce Fraser, group manager community relations for the awards’ regional operator, Environment Bay of Plenty. “Many people entered last year because they wanted to learn. Afterwards, they told us it was a great forum for discussion and they’d especially appreciated the professional feedback from judges.” They had also gathered ideas from other entrants.

Mr Fraser hopes the rural community will support the awards just as strongly this year. “We were very impressed by the standard of entries last year and expect to see more of the same this time around.”

The awards, which are open for entries until Friday 31 October, promote the concept that sustainable farming is practical, achievable and profitable and that good environmental management is good for businesses.

A key goal is to find the environmental leaders of the community. “We want to showcase the excellent work people are doing around our region. We hope they can then become role models that others will follow,” Mr Fraser says. Geoff and Gill Brann, who farm a 245ha agroforestry property near Paengaroa, won the supreme award winner last year.

Katikati’s Ian Pirani, who has farmed drystock and goats and grown kiwifruit, will lead the judging pool this year. It will contain representatives from organisations involved in sustainable land management, including Federated Farmers, Farm Forestry Association, ANZ bank and the regional council.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are now run annually in seven regions. Principal sponsor for the national awards programme is Ballance Agri-Nutrients, with support from ANZ Bank, Wrightson, Gallagher, Richmonds and Livestock Improvement Corporation.

EMDS

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