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Celebrating Primary Sector People And Innovation

The Primary Industry New Zealand (PINZ) Awards are all about acknowledging and celebrating teams, individuals and organisations that are leading the way towards a better future through investing in science, innovation and communities.

“We were proud to be a finalist in three out of the seven categories – it’s real recognition of the leadership and innovation across our Ballance team,” says Mark Wynne, Ballance Agri-Nutrients CEO.

“The competition was tough in each category, highlighting the depth of talent and drive within the sector, and making the fact we and Hiringa Energy won the award for Innovation & Collaboration and Surfing for Farmers won the Team award even more fulfilling, knowing we were up against the best of the best.”

Winner of 2021 PINZ Innovation & Collaboration Award - Hydrogen

Ballance in partnership with Hiringa Energy Ltd, have established an innovative world-first green hydrogen project in Taranaki using renewable wind energy generation to provide base-load power to Ballance’s existing Kapuni fertiliser plant, and surplus electricity to produce hydrogen that can be used to produce 7000 tonnes/annum of urea, or used directly for hydrogen fuel cell transport - displacing the need for imported fossil fuels. The hydrogen created using this renewable process is called 'green hydrogen' and creates no harmful emissions in the process or consumption of the fuel.

With approximately 60% of New Zealand’s energy needs currently being met by fossil fuels, and with our country having committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Hydrogen has been acknowledged as being a key to decarbonisation - promising low emissions transport fuel for heavy and long-haul vehicles. This project is the catalyst for a sustainable green hydrogen market in NZ.

Winner of 2021 PINZ Team award – Surfing for Farmers

The idea to develop the Surfing for Farmers (SFF) programme to improve farmers and growers mental health was inspired by a documentary about American soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who used surfing as a therapy. The team made up of representatives from Ballance, Stephen Thomson, Rural Real Estate Agent, Bayleys and other volunteers including surf coaches wanted to find out if a similar initiative could help farmers and growers. Participants enjoy a break with a laid-back surf lesson, a yarn with other farmers, and a BBQ. The de-stressing and fun effects of surfing helped the farmers and growers to relax and enjoy a good time, and to share in their experiences with a sense of camaraderie -

PINZ 2021 finalist for Emerging Leader award – Angus Dowson

Angus Dowson, 26 years of age, is an outstanding example of a young leader and very deserving of the Emerging Leader Award. Growing up on a dairy farm, Angus graduated from Otago University with distinction, specialising in Physical Geography and Remote Sensing Science. After hearing about Ballance through the Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), Angus began his career as a Geospatial Analyst in the Sales Operations team - helping to provide farmers and growers with precise spatial information about their land to enable them to make better, more informed decisions. Angus’s passion for remote sensing technologies, and his university studies that involved utilising satellite technology to monitor glacier dynamics in the Southern Alps, has greatly assisted in bringing precision agricultural to life within our SpreadSmart mapping business. Angus has since progressed his career to become a Science Extension Officer - with a specialisation in on-farm technology and solutions.

“It’s important that we share our stories and celebrate all the hard work being done in the primary sector, that’s why we enter these awards,” says Mr Wynne.

“We all want a productive and sustainable future – producers and consumers. Awards like this help encourage people and businesses to make that happen through hard work and investment.”

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