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The onset of Spring is generally a time for optimism, particularly amongst the farming and growing community. However, the re-emergence of COVID-19 in the community has eroded some of that pride we felt when eliminating the virus way back in May.

Like a lot of organisations, we’ve made contingency plans in case our activities continue to be impacted by health restrictions. In the meantime, the country’s food and fibre producers can’t afford to take a step back as new regulations bite and as consumer expectations for safe and sustainable food are heightened.

While we have curtailed some activities over the next six months, a priority for the Trust is to develop a new framework that ensures our feedback to participants in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards aligns with the latest thinking around good practice. We expect this to enhance the experience of those who get involved in the awards programme. It will also help us shed light on many of the great examples of stewardship happening across the country.  

James Ryan

General Manager
New Zealand Farm Environment Trust
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Trust Board election in October

As we approach our elections for the NZ Farm Environment Trust Board, we caught up with outgoing Board member Andrea Hanna who is stepping down after eight years.
The Trust’s election is for three Board representatives, with the results being announced on 12 October. The candidates are Mark Brough, Jon Lee, Phill Muir, Mike Scarsbrook and Kate Taylor.

As a Trustee, Andrea has made a significant contribution and we’re delighted she will continue to support the Trust through her involvement with the BFEA national judging programme and Waikato regional committee.

Attitudes toward sustainable farming management practices have changed dramatically since she first got involved with the Ballance Farm Environment Awards 21 years ago, Andrea says. Read more. 

Waikato awards programme 2020/21    

The Trust is working with the Waikato BFEA Committee to operate a regional awards programme in 2020/21, subject to it being deemed safe to do so. This committee has secured independent funding which enables it to run a Waikato BFEA programme while the remainder of our regional programmes are on hold as a result of COVID-19 disruptions. Entries are now open - please click here for contact details and more info.

Our people and stories

It’s all about the people for Taranaki BFEA regional coordinator Jessie Waite who was recently appointed to the New Zealand Young Farmers national board. 

Efficiency and support networks keys to success

Kiwi ingenuity, mixed with a healthy dose of organisation, means Otago’s Angela Scott has simplified her calf-rearing operation so she’s farming more effectively with less labour.

“My main driver is to do a job as easily as possible. I have to work smart – it’s a matter of brain rather than brawn,” the 2020 winner of the BFEA Massey University Innovation Award says.

BFEA alumni in the news

Twice a year, BFEA alumni Jane and Roger Hutchings go out on a special date night - it's to help protect the many kiwi that live in the bush on their Northland dairy farm.

"It's not an onerous task to look after these birds - it's a joy," says Jane (our Northland BFEA Regional Committee Chairperson) in this magic Hyundai Country Calendar episode. The Hutchings' dairy and Ayrshire breeding business won top spot at the 2014 Northland BFEA, impressing the judges with an excellent balance between production and leading environmental protection practices.

The programme also visited 2019 alumni, Palliser Ridge Station, where lovingly restored native wetlands are visible all over the sheep & beef property and there's a strong commitment to planting more. Watch here.

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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