"Environmental champions" Richard and Dianne Kidd are the supreme winners of the inaugural Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
At a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on March 30, the Helensville couple was also presented with the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.
BFEA judges described Whenuanui Farm, the Kidd family’s 376ha sheep, beef and forestry unit, as “a show piece farm”, and said the Kidds are “great role models for drystock farming, achieving impressive stock and financial performance while working hand in hand with the environment”.
All waterways on the farm have been fenced, and large areas of raupo act as sediment traps to capture nutrients. Shade, shelter and reticulated water are readily available to livestock in every paddock.
Planting lures native birds
Biodiversity corridors link the upper catchment areas to the bush, and bush remnants have been planted with native species such as kauri, rimu and pohutakawa. Natives have also been planted in wetland areas, and the farm now has an abundant range of wildlife, including kereru and kaka.
Outstanding management of soils and extensive use of summer and winter cropping minimises the environmental impacts of the operation.
Auckland Council partnered with the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust for the first time this year with the aim of showcasing farming practices that protect and enhance the environment.
“We’d like to congratulate our Supreme Award winners, the Kidd family, along with all of this year’s winners,” says Councillor Bill Cashmore.
Farmers embracing sustainability
“The awards have shown how Auckland farmers are facing environmental challenges head on. The council will continue to support the rural community to make improvements in the sustainability and long term viability of all forms of agriculture in the region. We look forward to seeing how each of these farms develops in future.”
This video shows how Auckland Council works with the region’s farmers to develop practices that balance improved productivity with good environmental outcomes.
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The full list of winners in the 2016 Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards are:
Supreme Award, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and New Zealand Farm Environment Trust: Richard and Dianne Kidd, Whenuanui Farm, Helensville.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, LIC Dairy Farm Award and PGG Wrightson People in Agriculture Award: Brian and Pirkko Gallagher, Pukekohe.
Massey University Innovation Award: Murray and Norm Wymer, Waiuku.
WaterForce Integrated Management Award and CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award: Ōtakanini Tōpῡ Incorporation, Helensville.
Auckland Council Water Quality Enhancement Award: Alan and Gael Cole, Pukekohe.
For more information on the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, visit www.bfea.org.nz