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Showcase Celebrates Best Of Sustainable Agriculture

Environment Showcase Celebrates Best Of Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture

Supreme winners from the eleven regions participating in the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards will be honoured at New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s National Sustainability Showcase in June.

Celebrating environmental excellence and culminating with the naming of the National Winner of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), the annual Sustainability Showcase is regarded as a premier event on the farming calendar.

This year’s Showcase is being held in Northland where the next recipient of the Gordon Stephenson trophy will be announced at a special gala dinner on June 22 at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands.

Up to 300 guests are expected at the dinner, including farm and agribusiness leaders, Government officials and representatives from a range of environmental agencies.

New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust chairman Simon Saunders says the Showcase highlights the best of New Zealand’s agricultural and horticultural industries by bringing together leaders in sustainability and celebrating their achievements in front of a wider audience.

“These talented farmers and orchardists really enjoy getting together and sharing their stories with like-minded people in the two to three days before the Showcase,” he says.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing New Zealand’s primary sector with other leaders from all walks of the industry.”

After the interview process for the National Winner title has been completed, the regional Supreme winners will hone their leadership skills in a workshop run by Lindy Nelson of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust.

Contenders for this year’s title are Richard and Dianne Kidd, Auckland, Dennis and Rachelle O’Callaghan, Northland, Leighton Oats and Matt Nelson, BAYGOLD Ltd, Bay of Plenty, John Hayward and Susan O’Regan, Waikato, Graham and Marian Hirst, East Coast, Parininihi ki Waitotara, Matt Kelbrick and Roger Landers, Taranaki, David and Adrienne Hopkins and Ben and Belinda Price, Horizons, Daniel and Reidun Nicholson, Greater Wellington, Joe and Suz Wyborn, Canterbury, Brendon and Paula Cross, Otago, and Shane Gibbons and Bridget Speight, Southland.

The prestigious Gordon Stephenson trophy will be presented by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

“Gordon passed away late last year, so the presentation ceremony is an appropriate time to mark the massive contribution he made to our primary sector,” Mr Saunders says.

NZFE Trust is very pleased to be hosting the event in Northland because the region has been a long-time supporter of the Awards programme.

“It’s also really exciting to be able to recognise the efforts the Northland farming community and the Northland Regional Council have put into making the Northland Awards such a huge success.”

A popular feature of the Sustainability Showcase is the inspiring DVD presentations on the winning farms and orchards. These videos will be been posted on NZFE Trust’s website at the ‘Great Farming Stories’ tab.

The 2015 Gordon Stephenson trophy recipients were Bay of Plenty sheep and beef farmers John and Catherine Ford.


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