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Environment awards seeking entrants

Entries for the 2024 Ballance Farm Environment Awards [BFEA] are still open for Wairarapa farmers and growers.

Those interested are encouraged to enter the competition, which is organised by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, in order to help continue to grow and maintain a healthy future for New Zealand farming.

“Being part of the awards programme is a positive way to receive feedback on your business, help identify strengths, and learn from others who are passionate about the food and fibre sector,” NZFET general manager Sarah Harris said.

The BFEA will shine a light on farmers and growers by giving them a chance to showcase, benchmark, and improve the sustainability of their operation “through a constructive process where agribusiness professionals provide feedback, recommendations, and commendations,” a NZFET spokesperson said.

Each operation is judged on a “holistic approach”, which evaluates the overall farm system, including water and soil, climate stewardship, biodiversity, waste management, people and wellbeing, business health, biosecurity, and animal care.

BFEA will also once again feature the Catchment Group section, which “will continue to showcase the great work being done by catchment groups throughout New Zealand, from our high country to the lowlands, uniting our rural and urban communities along the way”, Harris said.

The Catchment Group highlights the efforts of a rural community who put in the hard yards to improve water quality in local rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands.

BFEA Greater Wellington regional coordinator Georgie Butler said although there were not enough entrants to run it locally last year, there is strong interest in this year’s awards programme.

“We have a few entrants through already, which is great. As a region, we have a lot of farmers and growers involved in innovative practices and doing some great work on farms, so we’re encouraging everyone to spread the word to potential entrants so we can recognise their efforts and share their stories.”

Entries for the BFEA close at the end of September, with farm visits taking place from October through to December.

Greater Wellington region award categories:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award;

Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award;

Beef and Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award;

DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award;

Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award;

Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award;

Norwood Farming Efficiency Award;

NZ Farm Environment Trust Biodiversity Award;

Greater Wellington Regional Council Award;

Trap and Trigger Small Block/Lifestyle Restoration Award.

Entries can be made online at nzfeawards.org.nz/apply-now or by contacting Georgie Cranswick at [email protected] for more information.

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