Mackenzies win New Zealand’s top farm environment award

Canterbury farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie are the winners of the supreme 2013 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA). The couple runs an intensive arable operation in Methven using technology to maximise production sustainably.

Announced on 22 June, the Mackenzie farm placed top of nine regional winners throughout New Zealand. Congratulations must also go to three sheep and beef farming operations, which were among the eight other regional winners:

  • Horizons – Beef and sheep farmers Curwen and Marja Hare have an “impressively balanced approach” to the management of their Waituna West hill-country farm, north of Feilding. The Hares also won the Beef + Lamb NZ Livestock Farm Award and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award.
  • East Coast – A 5,054 square hectare sheep, beef and dairy station and training farm near Tikokino managed by Terry and Judy Walters “not only practises profitable and sustainable management, it also teaches this ethos to tomorrow’s agricultural leaders,” judges commented.
  • Wellington –Central Wairarapa farmers Michael and Karen Williams’ 224 ha arable, lamb finishing and beef unit, Ahiaruhe Farm, was described by the BFEA judges as a very well organised business “run by an inspirational young couple”.

Other winners were: Northland – Outstanding management of a ‘high input, very sustainable’ dairy farm system won brother and sister Shayne and Charmaine O’Shay the award for their region;Waikato – Walton dairy farmers Grant Wills and Karen Wilton also scooped the Ballance Agri-Nutrients – Nutrient Management Award, the Livestock Improvement Corporation Dairy Farm Award, the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Discovery Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award; Bay of Plenty – Dairy farmers Dennis, Judith and Gordon McFetridge have a “well-rounded operation that is “meeting economic, social and environmental objectives,” the judges determined; Southland – Dairy conversion pioneers Abe and Anita de Wolde’s 2,800-cow business ‘Woldwide Farming Group’ “impressed and inspired” the BFEA judges who praised the couple for their “boundless energy towards finding a better way and doing the right thing”;Otago – An extraordinary cropping and wholesale business run by two families, the Websters and the Mitchells encapsulates two businesses: Topflite Ltd, a birdseed and small animal feed business; and Mitchell and Webster Ltd, the growing operation that specialises in the production of seeds and other crops.

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