Ian Knowles of Glenmark Springs has been announced as the Regional Supreme Winner at the Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Christchurch this evening.
His Waipara farm is predominantly a sheep breeding and finishing operation, with some dairy support. Ian started leasing and buying into the farm in 2015, and since then has invested significantly to increase the farm’s efficiency and profitability.
Development is guided by research and on-farm trials, resulting in big changes to the farm’s infrastructure, stocking rate and performance. There’s a focus on increasing production while reducing the farm’s environmental footprint – all through simple systems that enable Ian to manage the farm efficiently.
The Waipara farm is a great example of continually gathering data and information about the property and implementing strategies, practices, pasture, and livestock to fit the business.
In awarding the Regional Supreme Award, the judges described Ian as an early adopter, who is pushing the boundaries and using new methods of management practice to get the most out of the property and enhance sustainability.
They noted his “comprehensive understanding of the whole farm system, with an excellent understanding of environmental and regulatory issues and a passion to show leadership in how these can be ‘tackled’”.
Ian Knowles also won the following awards:
· Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
· Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
· Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
· Norwood Farming Efficiency Award
· NZFET Climate Recognition Award
Other Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Award winners include:
Alistair and Genna Bird — The Grange
· Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award
· NZFET Biodiversity Award
· NZFET Innovation Award
· Environment Canterbury Water Quality Award
Jim Burrows and Kim Marshall — Glenlake Farm
· Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award
Rod and Catherine Lamb — Lamb Dairy
· DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
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 at Te Papa in May. The recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy then become 2023’s National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing.