Wellington Gets Set For Big Farm Environment Celebration


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This year its Wellington’s turn to host New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s annual Sustainability Showcase – a premier event on the national farming calendar.

To be held on June 24 in Parliament’s Banquet Hall, the Showcase honours Supreme winners of the 2015 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) and culminates with the naming of the National Winner and the presentation of the esteemed Gordon Stephenson trophy.

New Zealand Farm Environment Trust general manager David Natzke says having the event in Wellington provides the rural community with a chance to celebrate its successes in front of an audience that includes some of the nation’s top decision-makers.

“It’s very important that we take every opportunity to show politicians and our friends in the urban community what farmers are trying to achieve in terms of sustainability.”

The Sustainability Showcase is the highlight of the BFEA programme, and this year’s event will wrap up another successful year for the awards.

“We’ve had ten outstanding award ceremonies around the country and seen some amazing farming talent. Now we bring the cream of the crop together to applaud their achievements and choose a new ambassador for New Zealand agriculture.”

This year’s Supreme winners are Frans, Tineke and Talbert de Jong and Emily Meese, Waikato, John and Catherine Ford, Bay of Plenty, Rachel and Greig Alexander, Northland, Mark and Jacqui Muller and Conrad Maeke, Taranaki, Alastair, Tracy and Daniel Ormond, East Coast, Leo and Rebecca Vollebregt, Greater Wellington, Willie Akers, Hugh and Judy Akers and Laura Oughton, Horizons, Richard and Annabelle Subtil, Canterbury, Dave and Janene Divers, Otago, and Robert and Anna Kempthorne, Southland.

Mr Natzke says Supreme winners appreciate the opportunity to socialise in the two to three days leading up to the Showcase, and the event provides them with the ideal forum to share their philosophies and discuss some of the common factors behind their successes.

“They enjoy being able to present their farming operations to the other Supreme winners and hearing about what other Supreme winners are doing on their farms. They also get the chance to meet other leaders from all walks of the industry.” 

About 300 guests are expected at the Showcase dinner, including farm and agribusiness leaders, Government officials and representatives from a range of environmental agencies.

The Gordon Stephenson trophy will be presented by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Another popular feature of the Sustainability Showcase is the inspiring DVD presentations on all winning farms. These videos have been posted on New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s website at www.bfea.org.nz under the ‘Great Farming Stories’ tab.

The 2015 National Winners were Canterbury dairy farmers Mark and Devon Slee.

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