October 8, 2008

Enviro-Farm Award Time

Foxton farmer Ian Easton said his involvement with the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as both an entrant and a judge helped him clarify his goals for the long term sustainability of his Manawatu farm.

Mr Easton, wife Gayle and son Jason run a mixed cropping operation on 340ha of flat land between Shannon and Foxton. Their business finishes bought-in cattle and lambs and grows a diverse range of crops, including potatoes, onions, maize silage and broccoli.

In 2005 the Eastons won the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award and were also named as finalists in the Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards for that year.

Mr Easton said being involved with a competition like the Ballance Farm Environment Awards has proved invaluable, because it forced the farmer to take a good look at the way they operate.

The key thing the judges are looking for is evidence the entrants have long-term goals and a plan in place to help them achieve those goals.

Judges say entering is an experience that would benefit almost every farmer and urge people to enter or nominate someone they feel would make a worthy candidate.

Entries for the 2009 Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards opened last Tuesday October 1. They close November 11.

(c) 2008 Evening Standard; Palmerston North, New Zealand. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.