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Good spread of farmers for Canterbury awards

Media Release

For Immediate Use

Good spread of farmers for this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Canterbury

A wide spread of farming types and geographic areas are represented by farmers entering this season’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Canterbury.

Of the 19 farmers who have entered ten are livestock, three are mixed livestock and arable, four are arable, and two are dairy.

Three farms are from South Canterbury, seven from Mid Canterbury, five from Central Canterbury and four from North Canterbury.

The Awards aim to promote good environmental practice as good business.

To enter farms must be profitable, and the main source of the owner’s income must come from the farm.

Each year one farming operation is judged as the supreme winner for the region, and seven additional Awards are made across a range of farm types and businesses.

Judging co-ordinator for the Awards in Canterbury Joanne van Polanen says some people had been reluctant to enter this year because of the effects of the harsh winter, and the fact that farms were still not looking their best. ``Farmers really like to show their farm in its best state.’’

However she said the judges are aware of those factors, and would take them into account. ``Given the conditions I think we’ve got a really good mix of farms.’’
She said she was particularly pleased to see more arable farmers entering this year.

Normally teams of three judges visit each farm and this year four past entrants will join the other farmer, environmental and agribusiness judges that are required for judging.

``They are really keen to take part. Entering the Awards requires farmers to evaluate and articulate practices and decisions within their business, but judging offers the opportunity to use these skills outside their businesses as well as having the chance to observe new or different ideas. Ballance Agri-Nutrients is the principal national sponsor for the Awards programme, with Environment Canterbury as the regional partner for the Canterbury Awards. Other sponsors are PGG-Wrightson, Hill Laboratories, PPCS, Livestock Improvement Corporation, and Gallagher.

ENDS

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