North Otago farmers Blair and Jane Smith have won the national title in the 2012 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
The Smiths were chosen from nine regional Supreme winners of the 2012 Ballance Farm Environment Awards. They run Newhaven Farms Ltd – a North Otago sheep, beef, forestry and dairy support operation that spans three family owned properties totalling 1528ha.
The Gordon Stephenson Trophy is presented annually at the Sustainability Showcase – an event that salutes people who are farming in a manner that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
NZFE Trust chairman Jim Cotman said Blair and Jane Smith will be great ambassadors for New Zealand agriculture.
“They are successful business people and strong communicators who will be able to effectively convey their sustainable farming beliefs and actions to a wide audience within New Zealand and beyond.”
Mr Cotman said the Smiths were chosen from an outstanding group of regional winners who had clearly proved “they have what it takes to be profitable and sustainable guardians of our natural resources”.
Guests at the showcase were treated to inspiring visual presentations that highlighted what each of the nine regional winners had achieved down on the farm.
The event celebrates the huge contribution farmers make to the New Zealand economy and highlights the efforts farmers are making to find better ways to manage the complex farming systems they work with.
Mr Cotman says the showcase provides an example of “our unique NZ brand”, reinforcing the importance of producing quality food, “based on good practice ethics and the ongoing stewardship of the land”.
You can read more about the Smiths and their farming operation here.