Top environment farmers
Charlie and Helen Lea of Cambridge have been named this year’s Waikato’s top environmental farmers.
The sheep and beef farmers were named the supreme winners of the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards, with judges describing their farm as a model farm with a strong production performance.
Entering under the name ‘Ratanui Partnership’, the Leas won six of the 10 category awards on offer including awards for soil management, harvesting, innovation, integrated management, water protection and farm stewardship.
Other category award winners were the Carter Farming Partnership of John and Judy Carter and Shaun and Kate Carter, from Piopio, who won awards for livestock and business management.
Ngatea dairy farmers Peter and Karen West won the award for dairy farming and Bob and Val Rigter won an award for catchment improvement.
The Leas farm is a 225 hectare (190ha effective) property east of Cambridge that breeds and finishes sheep and beef with a 60:40 beef to sheep ratio. They’ve been there since 2004.
Judges were impressed with the wide range of innovations being used on the farm and in their plant nursery.
‘‘An impressive amount of planning and effort has gone into the farm infrastructure and the protection and enhancement of the environment.
‘‘An impressive amount of planning and effort has gone into the farm infrastructure.’’
Charlie and Helen Lea of Cambridge are the supreme winner of the Waikato Farm Environment Awards for 2017.