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Hi <<First Name>>

While snug in my bubble, over the past month I’ve enjoyed watching announcements of Ballance Farm Environment Awards regional winners on our YouTube channel. While not the same as being there in person, it’s been an effective way of highlighting some of the great things happening across the farms and orchards of New Zealand.

Over the past week, the country feels like it has returned to the new normal. My kids returned to school and my wife and I were able to enjoy great New Zealand food in our favourite local restaurant. But many New Zealanders face an uncertain future. Food production is the only sector strongly positioned to lead the country out of recession.

Globally, there's renewed focus on food safety and food security. We can expect that demand will increase for high-quality, trusted and healthy food that's produced to the highest standards. And we should be optimistic that our management of the COVID-19 crisis will support our food producers being given the recognition they deserve. In this respect, showcasing our innovative food producers will become even more important – we have shared some of their stories below.

We're grateful for the continued support we get from our network of volunteers and partners. Despite the challenges ahead, at times like these I feel grateful to live in New Zealand.


James Ryan

General Manager
New Zealand Farm Environment Trust
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Awards announced in four more regions

What a month it has been, with the announcement of Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Horizons, Waikato, Otago and Southland via livestream on YouTube. Regional Supreme Winners are pictured, clockwise from top left, with more information below. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for videos of all finalists - it's a visual treasure trove of innovative food producers.

Horizons: The Clarke Family, commercial vegetable growers — Levin
Woodhaven’s owners and directors view the business holistically – farming for themselves while also enriching the lives of their staff, community, local iwi and environment.

Waikato: Mark & Felicity Brough, sheep & beef – Aria
As they strive to be successful and profitable farmers, the Broughs are focused on preserving the precious resources that make farming possible: soil and water. 

Otago: Anna & Ben Gillespie, beef & dairy grazing – Omakau
Taking a strategic approach that plays to their strengths is paying off for this couple as they diversify and grow their business. 

Southland: Geordie & Frances Eade,sheep & beef — Riverton
Big-picture thinking that balances business risk with sustainability is guiding the development of this Riverton farm. 

Looking ahead – the next 12 months

In light of the ongoing response to COVID-19, we've been working through options for the year ahead. We're mindful the pandemic has had a range of impacts upon the community and our stakeholders, however it has also opened up some exciting future opportunities.

Subject to it being considered safe to do so, over the next 612 months we will:

  • Hold regional field days at the properties of the new Ballance Farm Environment Awards supreme winners.
  • Celebrate these new winners at a national event.
  • Not hold a 2021 awards programme as normal, which means no call for entries this year.
  • Launch a revamped Ballance Farm Environment Awards programme in early 2021.
  • Continue highlighting the good farming practices of New Zealand’s food and fibre producers.

Soil health & COVID-19 testing

Our partners Ballance Agri-Nutrients have been taking a closer look at soil health recently, while Hill Laboratories has been supporting the COVID-19 response with analytical testing. Watch this video for more on soil health, and click here to see how Hill Laboratories has partnered with the Waikato DHB to provide additional testing capacity for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

 

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Team update

We recently farewelled long-standing East Coast regional co-ordinator Kate Taylor, pictured here on the right with her replacement Kahlia Fryer. Kate was with us for 10 years and was an incredibly valuable member of our national team of co-ordinators. Tēnā rawa atu koe Kate for all your mahi, and nau mai Kahlia - welcome to the team!

Get in touch

We love to talk, so if you'd like to have a chat or ask us a burning question, please email us or get in touch with one of our regional contacts by clicking a link:

Northland • Auckland • Waikato • Bay of Plenty • Taranaki • East Coast • Horizons • Greater Wellington • Canterbury • Otago • Southland

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