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Team effort wins supreme farm award


Team effort wins supreme farm award

Te Puke’s Laurie and Joy Shearer have won the supreme award in the second Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The award was announced at a ceremony attended by more than 100 people in Rotorua today.

Coordinated regionally by Environment Bay of Plenty, the awards are based around the concept that sustainable farming is practical, achievable and profitable. Though they attracted fewer entries this year, the standard was “enormously high”, which made decision-making very difficult, says judging coordinator Ian Pirani.

Mr Pirani says team effort and attention to detail were two key reasons for the Shearer’s success.

“The co-operative way Laurie and Joy Shearer work was mirrored by a number of the other entrants. I believe that is one reason our farmers are so successful. A great deal of their achievement is due to that attitude.

“The people who enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards care about the environment. They know their profit comes from the environment and if they take care of their land they will prosper.”

The Shearers, who also received the Richmond Best Livestock Farm Award for outstanding stock management, have a well-designed farm in Te Matai Road, Te Puke. Called Seaview Farm, it comprises 133 hectares, of which 115 effective hectares is in grass.

The judges commented on the couple’s outstanding stock management with 327 dairy grazers, 61 yearling beef steers, 55 two-year-old beef steers, and also 8,400 pines and a variety of other trees.

The Shearers purchased the farm in June 1996 and since then have used subdivision fencing to produce 80 paddocks, each with a trough. They have a well laid out, fenced farm where unproductive areas are retired and planted with trees. New tracks have been formed and existing tracks have been upgraded.

The judges noted excellent cooperation between the Shearers, both bringing different strengths, to the partnership. A great deal of thought and careful planning is put into every aspect of the farm, so they do not have to repeat the same work twice.

The Shearers put a lot of effort into their own work and their local community, in which they are completely involved. Though they do not have children attending the local school, they are members of the Parent/Teacher Association. The couple is aware of and care about what is going on in the environment. Field Day

There will be a field day at the Shearer’s property 1157 Te Matai Road, Te Puke, at 10.00am on April 29 for people interested in learning more about their winning farm. Confirm attendance to Sheree Phillips on 0800 368-267. Other awards in the Bay of Plenty event went to: Dave and Margaret Wright - Ballance Agri-Nutrients Nutrient Management Award Kapenga Maori Trust - ANZ Grow Award Alistair and Shirley Snodgrass - Livestock Improvement Best Dairy Farm Award Stuart Steel - BFEA Harvest Award supported by ANZ Hans and Jan Pendergast - Wrightson Habitat Improvement Award

Environment Bay of Plenty Environment Awards * Joe & Kolene Warmerdam for excellence in a positive contribution to the economy, community and environment

* Hans & Jan Pendergrast for excellence in conservation and environmental management

Gallagher Innovation Awards * John & Jill Needham for an innovative approach to erosion control through use of trawler netting

* Russell & Jacqui Snodgrass for an innovative approach to soil biology

* Bruce Calder for an innovative approach to improving soil with organic matter and supplements.

Merit Awards

* BRYCE MATUSCHKA for excellence in a diversified approach to business.

* RAY & SHIRLEY HAYWARD for excellence in farm presentation.

About the Awards

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards were conceived in the Waikato 12 years ago and in the years since then have been run by the Farm Environment Award Trust, whose slogan is “Good environmental management is good business”.

Through feedback and profiling winners, the awards encourage farmers to be more proactive in their resource management and provide them with role models for sustainable land management. A key factor of the programme’s success is that it is based on awards, not competition.

“The participants aren’t there to be ‘winners’,” Environment Bay of Plenty co-ordinator Sheree Phillips says. “They’re there for the feedback and networking opportunities, to learn from the environmental practices of other farmers and to have their work appreciated by their peers. All entrants have their photos displayed at the awards night function and are recognised for what they have achieved,” Ms Phillips says.

Principal sponsor for the national awards is Ballance Agri-Nutrients, which is joined by ANZ Bank, Wrightson, PPCS, Richmonds, Livestock Improvement Corporation and Gallaghers. It is also supported by Environment Bay of Plenty.

The Shearers will go on to represent the region at the first Ballance Farm Environment Awards National Sustainability Showcase to be held in Hamilton on June 10.


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