Entries open for 2020 Ballance awards

Posted at 11:15am Monday 19 Aug, 2019

Wellsford's Cameron and Jo Shepherd were one of four local farming families to reach the finals and win prizes at the most recent Ballance Awards.

Farmers and growers who strive for sustainability are being encouraged to enter the annual Ballance Farm Environmental Awards, entries for which are open from now until the end of October.

The awards are designed to promote and reward agricultural, horticultural and viticultural businesses that work to protect and enhance the environment as part of their operation.

Entrants go through a judging process where they are invited to showcase, benchmark and improve their operations, with agribusiness professionals visiting their properties to offer constructive feedback, recommendations and praise.  

Judges evaluate every aspect of the farming or growing business, from environmental management, productivity and profitability through to family and community involvement.

The awards are facilitated by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, an independent body that aims to encourage management practices to protect the environment and promote sustainability. Chair

Joanne van Polanen says New Zealand already has some of the most efficient farmers in the world, who are investing in environmental improvements without the substantial government subsidies enjoyed by some other countries.

“The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are a way for farmers and growers to receive free and independent advice from rural professionals to help them improve the sustainability of their business,” she says. “It is also a way of sharing positive stories, ideas, and resources with a wider audience.”  

Farmers and growers can nominate themselves for the 2020 awards or, for the first time this year, they can be nominated by other people, providing nominees give their consent. The awards cover 11 regions throughout NZ, including Auckland and Northland.

Entries are open until Thursday, October 31. Judging will take place during the summer and winners will be announced in March. Info: nzfeatrust.org.nz.


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