A culture of pride, connection and community sees Oromahoe Trust, managed by Dean Candy, named the Regional Supreme Winner at the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.


Home / News / Award News / A culture of pride, connection and community sees Oromahoe Trust, managed by Dean Candy, named the Regional Supreme Winner at the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The award recognises the significance of the Trust’s underlying mission, which is to protect and look after the land for future generations.

All farming decisions build on the goals of the Oromahoe Trust, a collective of 1,500 shareholders who are focused on achieving more than good economic outcomes. As kaitiaki of the land, the Trustees are also sharply focused on achieving environmental, cultural and social aspirations.

Managed by Dean Candy, the 1,050ha (750ha effective) sheep and beef farm has been operating under the Oromahoe Trust since 1990. 1,400 bulls are run on the property, including 700 weaners that are purchased annually and finished on-farm. This income is supplemented by running 800 ewes, along with growing pinus radiata for harvest.

Caring for the environment is central to every decision, and this is having a positive impact on the farm’s freshwater. Extensive riparian fencing and native planting has complemented the redevelopment of paddocks for cell grazing – ultimately reducing nitrogen levels.

Multiple wetlands on the farm have been protected for many years and have now returned to their natural states. This is supported by active pest management, which is enabling native plants and wildlife to flourish.

The judges noted that the Trust has a good understanding of its land capabilities and has adapted its systems to match. The operation integrates sheep, beef and forestry to maximise returns while minimising the impact of farming on the environment. The business balances successful production, environmental stewardship and a long-term vision for the whenua, which is highlighted by industry-leading results alongside extensive environmental protection work. Additionally, there is a strong culture of pride and connection, and a desire to excel.

In awarding the Regional Supreme Award, the judges observed that Oromahoe Trust is outstanding in all parts of its farming operation. “This a great example of a financially successful, intensive farm system that has long-term environmental sustainability and a positive future for tangata whenua at its heart.”

Dean Candy also won the following awards:

· Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award

· Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award

· Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award

Other Northland Ballance Farm Environment Award winners include:

Greg and Claire Collins — Emerald Hills, Kaipara

· DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award

· NZFET Climate Recognition Award

Adam & Laura Kateley-Cullen — Ararua Hills Farm, Kaipara

· Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award

· NZFET Innovation Award

Philip & Julia Leaf — Brierly Hill, Kaipara

· NZFET Biodiversity Award

· Northland Regional Council Water Quality Enhancement Award

Mark & Kevin Strawbridge — Northland Forestry Nursery, Kaikohe

· Hill Labs Agri-Science Award

· Norwood Farming Efficiency Award

The awards also served to showcase Kaipara Moana Remediation, a programme that is aiming to halve sediment flows into the environmentally, culturally and economically significant Kaipara Moana – although its projects generate much wider benefits. Since forming in 2020, Kaipara Moana Remediation has facilitated the planting of about 1.4 million native plants across more than 300ha, and the installation of almost 600km of fencing. They’ve engaged with half of the catchment’s pastoral landowners to create almost 550 sediment reduction plans that cover a whopping 100,000ha.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are run by the NZ Farm Environment Trust and champion sustainable farming and growing. The Supreme Winner from each of the eleven regions involved in the awards will go through to be considered for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy at the Trust’s National Showcase in Hamilton in June. The recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy then become 2024’s National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing.

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