Glen Dene, a high country station on the shores of Lake Hawea, has won the Deer Industry New Zealand premier environmental award for 2023.
Comprising three integrated businesses, a sheep, beef and deer farm, trophy hunting and a camping ground, and owned and operated by Richard and Sarah Burdon, Glen Dene took the Elworthy Award at the industry’s 13th biennial awards evening in Ashburton.
The third-generation farmers took over management of the 2300ha station in 2001.
The judges appreciated the 220km of deer fencing and shelter belts, pine blocks, extensive amenity plantings, large areas of native vegetation in the hill country and stream health assessments across the station indicating operational areas of generally good or excellent standard.
The NZ Landcare Trust award for excellence in deer farming through actions on the ground was won by Lyal Cullen and Marion Neill of Springdale in South Canterbury.
Extensive shelterbelts, woodlots and retired riparian areas, together with an in-depth knowledge of deer wintering systems including long-term water quality testing showing minimal impact from the farming operation, were standouts for the judges.
Also in Canterbury, Scott Hassall won the Duncan NZ Venison award for vision and innovation while mastering a demanding environment on Iffley farm in North Canterbury.
Prioritisation of environmental projects with practical outcomes, high-level innovation and in-depth knowledge of the whole farming system stood out in Hassall’s case. He carries out cut and carry of kale crops to maximise feed utilisation while minimising paddock damage from high stock density.
The NZ Deer Farmers Association Next Generation award was won by Mike Humphrey of Green Hill, Manawatū.
This award is made for outstanding performance across environmental, financial and social aspects of a business.
Simon Hoskin of Five Hawks farm, also in Manawatū, won the Gallagher technology and innovation award for excellent utilisation of farming technologies to improve farm productivity and manage resources.
The Streamlands Export Ltd Award for leading, environmentally sustainable velvet farming went to Ross and Monique Moore of the Abarta Company in Waikato.
Lead judge Janet Gregory said all entrants were extremely passionate and proud of what they were achieving with all having a strong environmental focus to all aspects of their business.