24 Feb 2010

Bay of Plenty couple win farm environment award

2:04 pm on 24 February 2010

A farming couple from Pikowai in the Bay of Plenty have been named the Supreme Winners of the region's Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Bruce and Tessa Calder, together with their manager Tama Murray, farm 450 hectares between Te Puke and Whakatane.

The property, Pikowai Farms, runs numerous enterprises including finishing lambs, beef cattle and deer, selling and leasing dairy bulls, wintering dairy cows, selling supplement and growing trees for commercial production.

The judges described the strengths of the people involved in the operation and the management of the challenging property as "a joy to behold".

They say progressive thinking and strategic changes over the years have seen the farming enterprise transform from a traditional sheep and beef unit to a diversified cashflow-generating enterprise with returns that rival dairying, while undertaking significant conservation and environmental work.