Top Crop of Farming Leaders Named In 2013 Ballance Farm Environment Awards


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The 2013 Ballance Farm Environment Awards have produced another outstanding line-up of ambassadors for environmental sustainability.

Supreme winners from the nine regions participating in the annual awards have now been named and these farming leaders will be honoured at a Sustainability Showcase in June.

The awards celebrate those people who use best practises to farm in a manner that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.

This year’s Supreme Award winners include Kokopu siblings Shayne and Charmaine O’Shea, who won the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and Tauranga farmers Dennis, Judith and Gordon McFetridge, who were Supreme winners for the Bay of Plenty region.

Walton farmers Grant Wills and Karen Preston were named Supreme winners in the Waikato, with Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm, Hawke’s Bay, collecting the top title for the East Coast.

The Supreme Award for the Horizons region went to Waituna West farmers Curwen and Marija Hare.

Central Wairarapa farmers Michael and Karen Williams won the Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and Methven farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie won in Canterbury.

Jock Webster, Nick Webster and Peter Mitchell of the Mitchell Webster Group received the Supreme Award in the Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and Abe and Anita de Wolde were Supreme winners for Southland.

The nine regional winners will now be assessed by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFE) national judging panel and a national winner will be chosen to receive the prestigious Gordon Stephenson trophy.

NZFE general manager David Natzke says the 2013 Supreme Award winners comprised four dairy farming operations, three arable and two sheep and beef “and we’ve not had that combination before”.

He says the calibre of entrants in the 2013 awards was first class, with incredible enthusiasm, commitment and skill shown by the Supreme winners. A host of other category award winners were also recognised for their efforts in improving environmental management.

“I think that everyone that entered the competition found it a truly worthwhile experience.”

Mr Natzke says the achievements of the 2013 Supreme Award winners will be celebrated at NZFE’s Sustainability Showcase at the Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton on June 22.

The winners of the Gordon Stephenson trophy will be announced at this event, which will be attended by last year’s winners, North Otago farmers Blair and Jane Smith.

Ticket enquiries for the 2013 Sustainability Showcase should be directed to David Natzke, phone 07 834 0400 or email

Entries for the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open later this year.

For more information on the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, contact David Natzke, General Manager, New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, phone 07 834 0400, .

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