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Farm environment award finalists announced

Media Release


Farm environment award finalists announced

For immediate release: Friday 24 February 2006

A beekeeper, two Murupara dairy farmers and three livestock properties have made it into the finals of this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Coordinated regionally by Environment Bay of Plenty, the award received 20 entries this year from all over the region. After a round of visits by judging teams, the number has now been whittled down to six finalists.

They are:

- Paul Steens of Te Puke (bees/honey);

- Ellen and Charles Mitchell of Murupara (dairy);

- Stuart and Alison Paton of Murupara (dairy);

- John, Jean, Tim and Jo Mackintosh of Whakatane (sheep and beef);

- Bruce and Tessa Calder of Whakatane (sheep and cattle); and

- Dave and Theresa Gee of Opotiki (heifers).

Leader of the judging team, Ian Pirani, says that selecting the finalists was a huge challenge. “The standard was very high so it was an incredibly difficult job,” he says. All finalist properties will now be re-visited, with the results announced at an awards ceremony Te Puke on April 11. A field day for the winning property will follow in May.

Now in their fourth year, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards promote a way of farming that is both practical and profitable. They look at whole-farm systems and strongly promote the positive. “We aim to show farmers that profitability need not compromise and, in the best examples, can restore and enhance environmental values,” Mr Pirani says.

Entrants benefit from the judging and feedback process and by meeting people with like ideals from whom they can gain ideas. By creating role models, the awards encourage other farmers to be more proactive in their resource management

The event is now run in eight regions of New Zealand. Principal sponsor Ballance Agri-Nutrients is joined in supporting the awards by RaboBank, PPCS, Livestock Improvement Corporation, Wrightsons, PGG, Gallagher Group and Hill Laboratories. Environment Bay of Plenty is the regional partner.

ENDS

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