Thursday, June 13, 2024

On-farm field day showcases award winning ideas

Tunnel Hill farm near Turakina and winners of the supreme Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the Horizons Region, have hosted an on-farm field day to share ideas with other farmers.

Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) celebrate farmer and grower achievement with good practice, enabling the sharing of positive farming and growing stories. Horizons Regional Council is a major sponsor of BFEA and supports the role the awards play in highlighting the critical work many farmers are doing in the environmental space.

Horizons land and partnership manager and BFEA judge, Grant Cooper says the on-farm field day is an opportunity for the winners to highlight why they won and demonstrate to other farmers how they could apply for the awards.

“On farm field days showcase the innovative farmers who are making a positive impact on the environment while running a profitable and sustainable farm. The hope is that these field days inspire attendees to think differently about their practices and land use too,” says Mr Cooper.

“Tunnel Hill is family owned and operated by Richard and Suze Redmayne who were early adopters of Horizons’ environmental plans and soil mapping to enhance farm efficiency.

“Horizons has worked with the Redmaynes since the 1980s before Richard took over from his father. This has included adding to their existing plantings by 78,000 trees over 60ha on sand dunes since 2011, to help prevent erosion and increase productive land use.”

The winning Redmaynes were first-time entrants in the competition.

“Their attention to detail in matching land use to land type, in a difficult environment, has been done in harmony with the land rather than reshaping the land. This was a significant aspect of them winning the supreme award,” said Mr Cooper.

“The judges also noted their infrastructure, systems and extensive fencing and planting support not only a thriving environment, and one of the largest coastal wetlands in the Horizons Region, but also sheep, beef, maize, and foresty.

“We want to extend our congratulations to the Redmaynes for taking out the supreme award, it’s a pleasure for us to see a farm that holds a long history with Horizons be recognised for their work. We hope others who attended the field day were inspired by their success and consider entering next year.

“Tunnel Hill will now compete for the national award with the other regional supreme award winners,” he said.

Horizons Regional Council also sponsors the Integration of Trees on Farm Award to highlight the partnership between council, the environment, and the land. This year’s winner was George and Ellen Bartlett of Gemel Trust a dairy, sheep and beef farm in the Manawatū.

For more information on award winners and to find out how to enter the awards head to To learn about Horizons’ fencing and planting programmes visit or free phone 0508 800 800.

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