The wine industry was never Stuart Dudley’s first career choice. The viticulturist for Villa Maria Wines in Marlborough had his mindset on research or forensics, having completed a degree in Genetics and Biochemistry.
The New Zealand Farm Environment Trust's National Sustainability Showcase recognises the efforts of Supreme Winners in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA). The event is to be held on June 22, 2016, at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands. The showcase will highlight the very best of New Zealand farming and is expected to draw more than 300 farming leaders and industry representatives.
"Northland is a long-standing supporter of the awards, so it's a great way of acknowledging the region's contribution to the competition. Northland farmers have been through some tough times over the last decade but they have continued to back the awards and we've seen some exceptional examples of sustainable farming come out of the region." says NZFE Trust chair, Simon Saunders.
Bill Shepherd, chair of the Northland Regional Council, says the council is delighted the showcase will be held in Northland.
"We view the awards as a very worthwhile concept to support because they encourage sustainable land management, which is a key council goal, and reinforce the crucial message that profitability does not need to come at the expense of our environment." he says.
He says the showcase will put the spotlight on Northland, providing the region with a great opportunity to highlight environmental excellence.
Northland BFEA chairman Shayne O'Shea, a past supreme winner, says the showcase will be a "magic event" for Northland.
"Having hundreds of farming leaders and industry people from around the country coming here gives us a fantastic forum to show off the jewel in New Zealand's farming crown."
"We had winners from sheep and beef, dairying and the horticultural sectors and it was great to bring them all together to celebrate their achievements and see how the primary industry in the region has evolved since the competition began."
Entries are still open for the 2016 Northland BFEA and O'Shea says all farmers and horticulturists should consider entering the competition.
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are open to all farming types. Entry is free and entry forms are available online at www.bfea.org.nz