Run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the awards champion sustainable farming and growing. The East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards were announced at a function on 28 June.
Working together as a team, Jane and Mark have made numerous improvements to the 1,500ha sheep and cattle farm where they run 4,400 ewes, 2,200 trade lambs and just over 1,800 cattle.
Alongside their valued staff, they’ve developed the farm so it’s in much better shape than when they arrived – in terms of both the environment and financial performance.
Excellent pasture management has resulted in highly productive stock, while infrastructure improvements encompass fencing, water reticulation and building a bridge across the Mōtū River. The river has been fenced off to create a large wetland area, with more native planting planned along its banks to provide shelter and enhance biodiversity.
The judges were impressed with how Mark and Jane’s complementary skills enabled them to run a profitable business while undertaking significant environmental projects.
“This energetic couple walk the talk. They complement each other in the business and work to their strengths, with one managing the stock, and the other managing the operations and development of the property,” the judges said.
The Johnsons also won the following awards:
- Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
- Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
- Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
- Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
- East Coast Farming for the Future Award
A Field Day will be held at Alcuin Station later this year.
New Zealand Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award
Advocating for their environment and community has earned Tukipo Catchment Care Group the New Zealand Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award for the East Coast region.
Striving to enhance the environment and build a thriving community, the Central Hawke’s Bay group is comprised of 90% of the landowners across the Tukipo sub-catchment.
The judges praised the group’s catchment-scale thinking which has resulted in significant improvements to water quality and biodiversity. Among their achievements are the development of a native plant nursery and the sharing of knowledge with a local school.
OTHER EAST COAST BALLANCE FARM ENVIRONMENT AWARD WINNERS 2022
- Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award: Tim & Cathie Forde, Forde Ltd
- Massey University Innovation Award: Tim & Cathie Forde, Forde Ltd
- WaterForce Wise with Water Award: Willie Lyons (Director) and Timothy Fairweather (Farm Manager), Glenalvon
- East Coast Regional Biodiversity Award: Kim & Annemarie Goodwin, Kawera