National ambassadors for sustainable farming recognised

The Ballance Farm Environment award winners for the National Ambassador title describe their winning farm as the largest lifestyle block in Taranaki

The Ballance Farm Environment award winners for National Ambassador title describe their winning farm as the largest lifestyle block in Taranaki

At the National Sustainability Showcase event at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill on May 31, the Ohangai sheep, beef and dairy farmers, Peter and Nicola Carver, won the National Ambassador title over 10 other regional supreme winners.


The Carvers operate as Holmleigh Trust Partnership on their 515ha family property, with obvious consideration for long-term viability for their farm and the business.

The farm breeds sheep and beef with a finishing unit wintering 4500 stock units complemented by a 95ha dairy platform milking 260 cows at the peak of this season.

Peter describes the award as a huge shock and honour. Judging had been intimidating; however the opportunity for feedback and to test their business against others was beneficial.

Nicola sees the Showcase event as an incredible learning journey and a great opportunity for the couple to learn more about their business and its way forward.

National judge, Joanne van Polanen said the Carvers were insightful and help immense pride in their business, environment and primary sector.

She points out that from a business point of view the couple planned and managed their dairy conversion with thought of future management.

She continues to say strong partnerships and working closely Taranaki Regional Council Stress Scheme support the couple’s well-performing business.

The winners are active in their community, and have unique sector knowledge and experience across dairy, sheep, beef and forestry. They were awarded the Gordon Stephenson Trophy by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy.

Invited to the Showcase in Invercargill, the supreme winners of 11 regional awards were considered for the trophy named in honour of Waikato farmer and noted conservationist, the late Gordon Stephenson.

This award is judged under different criteria, as this is a national aware separate to the regional programme

New Zealand Farm Environment Trust runs the award programme, hoping this will to add value to farming businesses and communities by promoting leadership in environmental excellence and by encouraging management practices that protect and enhance the environment.

Simon Saunders, chairman of the trust says that this Showcase is great opportunity to celebrate the 11 regional winner’s achievements. He sees the Carvers as great ambassadors for New Zealand’s primary sector for 2017 and the future.

The awards are open to any business making its living from the soil – agriculture, horticulture and viticulture


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