Entries are open for the Ballance Farm Environment Awards 2023, with organizers hoping a record number of farmers will take part this year.
Run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the awards celebrate farmers and producers
implementation and highlighting good practices.
They also aim to share positive stories of cultivation and agriculture within the industry and across the country.
Pricing takes into account the agricultural system, including animal and plant care, biodiversity, business health, climate, people and well-being, soil, water management and waste.
The Covid disruption has meant a tough few years for the regional rewards program, which has been adjusted to accommodate lockdown and tier settings.
Covid-19 has not only affected the number of farmer entries, but also the timing of judges’ visits and award ceremonies.
However, the response from farmers, sponsors and supporters to recently organized regional events indicated there would be a large number of applications for the 2023 awards, said New Zealand Farm Environment Trust chair Joanne van Polanen.
“The overwhelming consensus was that not only did attendees truly appreciate the attention and positive feedback throughout, but those who attended the award ceremonies and resulting winners’ field days were grateful to have the chance to connect with their peers and be able to hear stories from others.
“It’s only when you can’t that you realize how important it is to connect with industry peers in a supportive and positive setting.”
The awards program is designed to be a positive way to receive productive feedback about the participant’s business, help identify strengths, and learn from others about the food and fiber business.
Van Polanen said she had a good idea of the number of entries for the 2023 awards.
“We have weathered the storm that has been Covid-19, and early indications suggest that
the conditions are now in place for a bumper crop of award submissions.”
The awards not only offered recognition to farmers, but a chance to take stock of their accomplishments, said judge and administrator Warwick Catto.
“One of the most positive things we get from participants is that they take the time to reflect on where they are and what they’ve achieved,” he told The Country’s Jamie Mackay. .
“When you’ve been around for a while, you notice the huge changes that have taken place on the farm, not only in terms of physical appearance, but also in terms of economy and people management.”
It was also a great opportunity to network and “get on the cutting edge,” Catto said.
“Get in touch with people who are edgy, who do things in interesting and innovative ways, and who have a relatively holistic view.”
Catto encouraged farmers to feel free to share their stories.
“Everyone says they’re never ready to come in…but for us it’s about feedback on what you do and what you do well.
“Farmers are exceptionally modest, but consider entering.”
Registrations are open until October 15 and can be made online at nzfeawards.org.nz
Ballance Farm Environment Awards 2023 Categories
• Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
• Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award
• Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award
• DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
• Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
• Norwood Farm Business Management Award
• NZ Farm Environment Trust Biodiversity Award
• NZ Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award