Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Ballance Farm Environment Awards Reward Land Stewardship

Outstanding Land Stewardship Rewarded In Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Rangitikei farmers Justin and Mary Vennell have been named Supreme winners of the 2014 Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

At a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on March 13 the Vennells also collected the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and the Horizons Regional Council Award (for the integration of trees).

Justin and Mary run Richcrest Farming Limited – a sheep, beef and forestry operation in the Rewa district, north of Feilding. Their 489ha (380ha effective) family property carries 4500 sheep and beef stock units, with about 80ha in forestry.

BFEA judges said both partners were “in tune with the needs of the farm”, praising the Vennells’ passion for farming and their genuine willingness to perform environmental protection work, even when finance was limited.

They were impressed with the couple’s management of the operation and the good levels of production being achieved.

Judges also noted the “strong conservation ethic’ demonstrated on the fifth generation farm, and the “excellent overall balance of production, biodiversity, sustainability and water quality protection”.

Richmond, the original block, was settled by the Vennell family in 1898. Justin and Mary, who have three children, purchased the neighbouring farm in the mid-1990s, farming the two blocks in partnership with Justin’s parents, Phil and Oriel, until their retirement in 2005.

Since adopting Horizons Regional Council’s ‘Sustainable Land Use Initiative’ (SLUI) Plan in 2007, the Vennells have planted 57,000 trees.

BFEA judges said the “astute use” of a range of trees aids erosion control, production, shade, shelter, aesthetics and bird and bee fodder. They also commended the Vennells’ awareness of the quality of water leaving their farm.

Farm springs have been tapped to provide an extremely reliable water system for supply to troughs, mostly via gravity-feed, and helicopter cropping has been used to improve pasture quality and increase stock production.

A BFEA field day will be held on the Supreme-award winning farm, with the date to be advised.

Winners in the 2014 Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards were:

• Supreme award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award and The Horizons Regional Council Award For The Integration Of Trees; Justin and Mary Vennell, Richcrest, Hunterville.
• Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award and LIC Dairy Farm Award; Matt Johnson, Tongariro Farm, Moutoa, Landcorp Farming Limited, Foxton.
• Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award, PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award and Meridian Energy Excellence Award; Mark Chrystall, Richard Chrystall and Rob Collier, Taihape.
• Hill Laboratories Harvest Award and Massey University Innovation Award; Guy Melville, Kaiangaroa Pastoral, Taihape.
• Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award; Hugh McIntyre and Rick and Rachel Pettigrew, Makoura Lodge, Apiti.
• The Margaret Matthews Trophy for Commitment to Sustainability; Lisa Hicks, PA Lowe Estate, Palmerston North.

For more information on the Ballance Farm Environment Awards visit


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Trade: NZ Trade Deficit Widens To A Record In September

Oct. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's monthly trade deficit widened to a record in September as meat exports dropped to their lowest level in more than three years. More>>


Animal Welfare: Cruel Practices Condemned By DairyNZ Chief

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.

Tim says the video released today by Farmwatch shows some footage of transport companies and their workers, as well as some unacceptable behaviour by farmers of dragging calves. More>>


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


International Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news