A farming couple from Melrose in Canterbury has been named Supreme Winners of the region's Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Dugald and Mandy Rutherford have three farms covering nearly 4000 hectares inland from Hawarden.
The highly diversified operation farms sheep and beef; as well as Pitt Island sheep for tourist trophy hunting, deer for venison, velvet and hunting and also about 200 hectares of trees.
The award judges commended the farming system as very well managed, integrated and complementary to the varied enterprises.
They also praised the couple for having one of New Zealand's biggest selection of trees, which they use for shelter, soil conservation, increasing production and future income.