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Judging

http://www.gw.govt.nz/Judging

Judging

Updated 26 May 2015 10:34am

Who are the judges?

The Farm Environment Award judging team contains representatives from organisations involved in sustainable land management including Federated Farmers, Agriculture New Zealand, Farm Forestry Association, Conservation Boards, Landcare Trust, banks, farm consultants, and Greater Wellington. The judges range from farmers to scientists to resource management specialists.

Each team member brings specialist skills and/or knowledge and experience, either as a farmer or as a representative of one of these organisations.

What are the judges looking for?

The Awards recognise farmers who are working to enhance and develop their farm into a sustainable operation.

A team of judges visits your property at a time suitable to you, where you have the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and accomplishments.

The judges perform a peer review of the whole farming system. To ensure entrants gain maximum value from participating, the review encourages you to discuss goals, achievements and weaknesses with the judging team.

Farm Environment Award judges are interested in your plans for your farm, the reasons for your decisions, and the success of your strategies. Plans for the farm must be physically and financially sustainable and have finite and achievable goals - and measurable and realistic objectives.

Judges are looking for a combination of soils and climate management that optimise pasture production, utilisation and conversion, with a minimum impact on the environment, landscape and other natural features e.g. water resources. They will also want to see how you are managing your land to meet production goals.

There are several topics the judges consider including:

  • Energy efficiency, considering alternatives to achieve total on-farm efficiency
  • Protecting and enhancing natural features
  • Matching land type to land use
  • Management of waterways such as turning gullies into ponds or fenced off swamps to improve downstream water quality
  • Habitat enhancement
  • Pasture and crop health
  • Achieving farm production targets

Other areas considered are effluent management and waste disposal, nutrient management, weed and pest management, animal husbandry, planning for the use of chemicals, and future projects.