Top en­vi­ron­ment farm­ers

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook - FAIR­FAX NZ

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.’’

SUPPLIED

Char­lie and He­len Lea of Cam­bridge are the supreme win­ner of the Waikato Farm En­vi­ron­ment Awards for 2017.

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