There has been a change at the helm for the Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards, but the mission remains the same — to celebrate sustainable farming in Taranaki.

New chairwoman Bede Kissick, and newly appointed regional co-ordinator Jessie Waite, along with the Taranaki committee, are on the look out for Taranaki farmers who are creating a sustainable pathway on their farm.

The pair have taken over from Alistair Abbott and Claire Hunn respectively.

"They are some big shoes to fill, but we have them on speed dial for when we have questions," says Jessie.

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Jessie, who also has a role with Federated Farmers, says the calibre of farmers in Taranaki is high.

"We are lucky enough to live in a region where we have a lot of progressive farmers but convincing them to enter has been a challenge."

In 2017 South Taranaki farmers Nicola and Peter Carver won the national Gordon Stephenson award, becoming national ambassadors for the industry.

Bede, a dairy farmer near Manaia, says the awards are a perfect opportunity to receive constructive feedback from experienced farmers and agribusiness professionals.

"The feedback we get from entrants is that the process is so easy, it's not daunting and they learn a lot about their business," she says.

Entries are open for the Taranaki awards and there are some good entries this year, says Jessie.

Judges will be looking for evidence of sustainable profitability, environmental awareness, good business practices and social and community responsibility.

* For more information on the awards, visit www.bfea.org.nz or phone Jessie on 027 423 8417.