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Finalists announced for farm environment award

Finalists announced for farm environment award

Wednesday 16 February 2005

Six finalists who reflect the diversity of farming activity in the Bay of Plenty are lining up for major awards in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards this year.

Selected from a field of 23 entrants, the group includes beef, sheep and dairy farmers and orchardists from all over of the region.

The finalists are: Barry Waite (beef/sheep) of Te Puke, Barry and Pam Pethybridge (drystock) of Te Puke, Brett Wotton (kiwifruit) of Opotiki, Paul and Joanna McCarthy (dairy) of Galatea, David and Janine Reeves (sheep/beef) of Rotorua and Brian Earp (horticulture) of Te Puna.

After a second round of judging, the award recipients will be announced at a special event in Whakatane on Tuesday 12 April. Merit and special awards will also be given out that day.

Now in their third year, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards are coordinated regionally by Environment Bay of Plenty and supported by the principal sponsor Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and ANZ Bank, Richmonds, Livestock Improvement Corporation, Gallagher Group and Hill Laboratories.

They promote the concept that sustainable farming is practical, achievable and profitable and that good environmental management is good for businesses.

The awards highlight farmers “who are doing great things for the environment”, says judging coordinator Ian Pirani. “But a key strength is that we are all learning from it,” he adds. And not only entrants, but also the farmers who attend field days on winning properties and the judges themselves. “Every year, we learn more,” Mr Pirani says.

Judging teams of four people, often including farmers, industry specialists and sponsors, visited every entrant property over the past few months. During a day long session this week, they “thrashed out” the finalists for 2005, Mr Pirani says. Now, he and three others, kiwifruit orchardist John Bourke, farm/forester John MacIntosh and former award winner Geoff Brann, will re-visit the finalists. “I can’t wait to get out there,” Mr Pirani says.

A total of 179 entries have been received for Ballance Farm Environment Awards events in New Zealand for 2005.

ENDS

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