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Huge Interest In Farm Environment Awards

Published: Mon 23 Dec 2002 01:21 PM
Huge Interest In Farm Environment Awards
The vital importance of protecting the environment continues to capture the attention of the rural sector with a huge amount of interest in this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).
Entries have closed in four out of five regions staging the awards with unprecedented numbers of people enthusiastic about demonstrating their commitment to sustainable farming, says BFEA national co-ordinator Chris Keeping.
“We have two new regions this year – Canterbury and Bay of Plenty. It’s a testimony to the success of other areas developing the concept and building the awards’ profile that numbers of entries in these regions is so high,” Ms Keeping says.
“There are 37 entries in Bay of Plenty and 33 in Canterbury. In Waikato, where the farm environment awards were conceived, there were 36 entries and in the smaller Wellington region 22 entries.”
Entries in the fifth region, Southland, close in January.
“Feedback from entrants confirms the farm environment awards are seen by many as an opportunity to learn. They appreciate the benefit of professional feedback from judges and of course, they are also proud of what they have achieved on their properties,” Ms Keeping says.
All entrants receive a detailed written report from the judges, which makes observations about where they are doing well in sustainable farming practices and areas where there is room from improvement.
“It’s like benefiting from consultants’ advice that you don’t have to pay for,” Ms Keeping says.
Principal sponsor Ballance Agri-Nutrients is delighted with the growth of the event which is well on course to becoming a national programme.
“ We are naturally delighted by the level of interest in the awards programme, but not surprised,” says Ballance market development manager Peter Mourits.
“Our land is this country’s life line. It is simple common sense that we must all look after it. It’s a privilege to work with people who are setting the standards for the future.”
In addition to principal sponsor, Ballance, the awards are supported by ANZ Bank, Wrightson, PPCS, Richmonds, Livestock Improvement Corporation and Gallaghers.
Judging will take place in the New Year with awards function to be held in March and April. Following these, the winners’ farms will open to the public for field days so everyone can learn from their achievements.

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