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Awards the “tip of the iceberg”

22 January 2013

Awards the “tip of the iceberg”

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards have gone from strength to strength as a showcase for sustainable farming and are more important than ever before.

“This is recognised by farmers and more of them are entering the awards each year which is continually raising the bar for other farmers,” says Ballance Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau.

“What’s important about the awards is that they do more than just acknowledge success. They are creating a growing pool of farmers who demonstrate great environmental leadership who are happy to share their advice and experience.”

Mr Bilodeau says the awards are more important than ever as environmental pressures build, so Ballance has confirmed its commitment to them, renewing its principal sponsorship until 2015.

Ballance has supported the awards since 1995 and been principal sponsor for 10 years.

“The awards help to demonstrate that good farmers take their responsibilities for stewardship of the land very seriously. We mustn’t forget that the awards are just the tip of the iceberg, and for every display of great farming we see, there are dozens more every day farmers doing just as much good.”

Mr Bilodeau says that some farmers are concerned that they are often portrayed negatively, and the awards provide an opportunity to show some of the world-class farming practices being used in New Zealand.

“We have seen for ourselves the value of the awards and the benefits of the Trust’s work which is about promoting sustainable farming practices and recognising industry leadership” says Mr Bilodeau. He says the awards also provide an opportunity to remind New Zealanders about the significant economic contribution agriculture makes to our economy.

“The Ballance Farm Environment Awards allow us to demonstrate the value of farming to New Zealand along with the thought leadership and innovation which makes New Zealand farmers the best in the world at what they do.”

Mr Bilodeau says while Ballance is proud of its commitment to sustainable farming, the accolades belong with the farmers who have proven they are committed to ensuring a productive and viable pastoral sector for the future.

“We’re committed to continuing to strengthen the backbone of our economy and our vision for the future of farming is shared by the many outstanding farmers who enter the awards every year.”

Entries for the 2012 Ballance Farm Environment Awards closed last year, with awards ceremonies taking place in nine regions around the country this February, March and April.

ENDS

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