Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Ballance Farm Environment Awards

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards is an annual awards programme run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.  The Awards celebrate farmer and grower achievement and showcase good practice, enabling the sharing of positive farming and growing stories with all audiences. 

Being part of the awards programme is a positive way to receive feedback on your business, help identify your strengths and learn from others who are passionate about the food and fibre sector. 


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New Zealand Food Story 

In the second season of a New Zealand Food Story TV series, Chef Ben Bayly travels the country to meet our finest farmers, growers, hunters, divers and foodies, seeking inspiration for his award-winning restaurant, Ahi.  Featuring in this eight-part series are three previous Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme winners.  Click through to view their episodes!

Woodhaven Gardens

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Granity Downs

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Maungatapere Berries

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The 2023 BFEA Regional Supreme Winners 


Andrew and Vicky Booth of Jade Dairies

Sharing their passion for farming by involving local schools is a winning formula for Andrew and Vicky Booth as they strive to achieve their environmental goals. The Booths are helping to bridge the urban-rural divide by working with schools to get 2,000 native plants into the ground each year. This partnership is providing a positive influence for the school children as they learn about looking after their environment.

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East Coast

Greg and Gail Mitchell of Mitchell Dairy Farms

Greg and Gail Mitchell have transformed a rundown property to the high-performing dairy unit it is today – while reducing its environmental footprint at the same time. The couple is behind Mitchell Dairy Farms which spans 525ha (460ha effective). They started dairy farming in 1996 and formed the current business seven years later. In 2014, they relocated to Patoka to oversee the redevelopment of High Road Dairy farm. They now milk 1,550 cows that produce an average of 600,000kg of milk solids per year.

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Brett & Fenella Wheeler of BFG Kiwi Ltd

An approach that blends technology, knowledge and sign-posts from nature is proving successful for Glenbrook kiwifruit growers Brett and Fenella Wheeler. Since 2015, the couple has been running BFG Kiwi Ltd – a 22ha property that spans two orchards, with 13ha of the land being effective. Always striving to improve, they work together using a science-based approach that is tailored to the natural environment.

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Anjena, Arjun, Amreeta and Daljit Singh of Lawwal Holsteins

Farming for the future is celebrated every day on a Hamilton dairy farm that has a direct connection back to Punjab. Karamjit Singh migrated from India to New Zealand in 1969, and 1972 bought his first herd of 65 jersey cows with his wife Mindy. This began the journey which now sees Lawwal Holsteins farming an effective area of 250ha.

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Bay of Plenty

Olivia Manusauloa and Josh Easton of Baygold Ltd

Kiwifruit development and management company Baygold is a great example of a business that is integrating environmental excellence while producing kiwifruit. Baygold’s orchard, The Station, spans 32ha of rolling Bay of Plenty land, with 16ha of this planted in orchards. The locally owned and operated business has been under the careful guidance of the McBride family for more than 30 years, with Graeme Neilson joining the team 10 years later.

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Jacques and Vanessa Le Prou of Java Farm

Taking on two rundown dairy farms and combining them into one sustainable unit has been a rewarding challenge for farmers Jacques and Vanessa Le Prou. They bought what is now known as Java Farm 10 years ago. For the first two years, they employed sharemilkers before merging the properties and running it as one unit.

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Peter, John and Karen McErlean of Poplar Partnership

Poplar Partnership Ltd is a large, self-contained dairy farm that represents a lifetime of work and dedication by owners John, Peter and Karen McErlean. John and Karen have come a long way since purchasing the initial 43ha block in 1983. In 2002, they formed Poplar Partnership Ltd with John’s brother, Peter, and today the total area of the family farm is 1,719ha.

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Steven and Kellie Nichol of Auldamor Ltd

The owners of Auldamor, Steven and Kellie Nichol, are evolving their farming business though diversification and adapting production systems, all while considering environmental impact. The 1,498ha property is located at Clarks Junction, Otago. The Nichol family has been farming in the area since 1871, meaning they have a strong connection to the land and consider improvements and guardianship a priority.

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Ian Knowles of Glenmark Springs

This Waipara farm is a great example of continually gathering data and information about the property and implementing strategies, practices, pasture, and livestock to fit the business. Ian Knowles is gradually purchasing Glenmark Springs from Ian’s family trust, aiming to strike a balance between profitability and lifestyle. The 822ha (790ha effective) property is predominately a sheep breeding and finishing operation, with about 30% of its income derived from dairy support. His strategy is to operate a low-cost business with a high stocking rate.

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Cameron Grant and Robert Grant of Grant Brothers

The fifth-generation owners of this Croydon sheep and beef farm are being guided by a successful long-term vision that has both business and family at its core. Known as Grant Brothers, the business is comprised of four farms that span 4,444ha (4,200ha effective) – all owned and managed by Cameron, Robert and Peter Grant. Since 1884, the original block has been added to and their overarching goal today is to continue running a sustainable operation that emphasises productivity and family.

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