Auckland farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd are the National Winners of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Their win was announced at a gala dinner in Northland on June 22.
Richard and Dianne own a 376ha sheep, beef and forestry unit, Whenuanui Farm, on the edge of Auckland city. Their breeding and finishing operation runs 4820 stock units on 331ha (effective) with a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.
The Kidds were described as “environmental champions and great role models for drystock farming, achieving impressive stock and financial performance while working hand in hand with the environment”.
They were chosen from the eleven regional Supreme winners of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Named after the Waikato farmer who started the Awards, the Gordon Stephenson Trophy is presented annually at New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust’s Sustainability Showcase – an event that celebrates agriculture’s contribution to the New Zealand economy and highlights the efforts farmers are making to find better ways to manage their farming systems.
NZFE Trust chairman Simon Saunders said the Kidds will be excellent ambassadors for New Zealand’s primary industry.
“It’s clear that Richard and Dianne possess the outstanding communication and leadership skills necessary to spread the sustainability message to both a national and international audience.”
He says the Kidds were chosen from an exemplary group of regional winners, “who all demonstrated a huge amount of passion and commitment for their businesses and their industry.”
The trophy was presented to the Helensville couple by Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries.
Mr Saunders thanked the judges – Joanne van Polanen, Warwick Catto, Jamie Strang, Charmaine O’Shea, Stephen Hall and George Murdoch – for taking on the tough challenge of picking the National Winner from such a talented pool of candidates.
With the Ballance Farm Environment Awards celebrating another very successful year, he said NZFE Trust is extremely grateful for the support provided by naming-right sponsor Ballance Agri-Nutrients and other key sponsors, Regional Councils and Trust partners.
This support has helped NZFE Trust play a major role in ensuring farmers are encouraged and rewarded for using good environmental practices.
Mr Saunders said the 2015 Gordon Stephenson trophy winners, Bay of Plenty farmers John and Catherine Ford, have done an excellent job of taking the sustainability message around New Zealand and overseas.
He also thanked the Northland region for hosting the Sustainability Showcase for the first time.
“It’s a wonderful way to recognise the efforts the Northland farming community and the Northland Regional Council have put into making the Northland Awards such a huge success.”
For more information on the 2016 National Award recipients, please click here
Entries for the 2017 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open on August 1, 2016.