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Federated Farmers’ Executive an environmental leader

21 February 2014

Federated Farmers’ Executive an environmental leader

Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Executive member, Sandra Faulkner, along with her family business partners, husband Rob and brother and sister in laws, Bruce and Jo Graham, have won the Supreme Award at the East Coast Balance Farm Environment Awards last night, taking them through to the national finals on 24 June.

“We are incredibly proud of Sandra, who is both a national and provincial executive for Federated Farmers, and her business partners for taking out this award. This meat and fibre farm is as diverse as it is environmentally friendly,” says Peter Jex-Blake, Federated Farmers provincial president for Gisborne-Wairoa.

“Further adding to their bow, the family’s successful 600 hectare Muriwai farm also collected the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award, the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Innovation Award and The East Coast Farming For The Future Award.

“These awards represent the Wairakaia sheep, beef and cropping operation’s long term economic and environmental sustainability, excellent pasture and soil management, and their cohesive approach to how the farm is run,” added Mr Jex-Blake.

Sandra spoke of the importance of the farms legacy getting them where they are today.

“Wairakaia is a fourth generation farm, and we are lucky that Rob and Jo’s Great Grandparents an subsequent generations had the passion and foresight to get into agroforestry, riparian planting and erosion control. We are part of over 100 years of work that has got us this award and are incredibly honoured.

“Our farm runs 5000 stock units, about 190ha of maize, squash and seed corn, 32ha of forestry, 10ha of citrus and 1ha of Tree Lucerne, as well as a poplar nursery that supplies the farm and sells around 1000 poles annually.

“It is fitting that we are a family farm, winning this award in the Year of the Family Farm. I hope this provides encouragement to other families that being environmentally sustainable is achievable and family farms can still be leading the charge in farm best practice,” concluded Mrs Faulkner.

Federated Farmers’ Peter Jex-Blake noted how the judges highlighted was that the structure of the business, which has enabled the family to maintain their partnership “during intense development and off-farm activities at national, regional and local levels.

“I know I am not alone in congratulating Sandra, Rob, Bruce and Jo on their win and admiration for their excellent pasture and soil management systems that stood them out above a high calibre of contestants,” concluded Mr Jex-Blake.

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