Ballance Agri-Nutrients has announced a nationwide programme of sponsorships intended to foster and celebrate scientific and innovative thinking among New Zealand primary and secondary school students.
The initiative will see Ballance partner with a number of regional science and technology fairs around the country to encourage greater interest in and understanding of agriculture in New Zealand – specifically through the launch of a new Sustainable Agricultural Award category.
The award will recognise students who demonstrate a keen understanding of a current or emerging sustainability issue affecting New Zealand’s primary industries, through projects which apply scientific methods and innovative thinking to solve real-life problems.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd is a New Zealand farmer and grower owned co-operative, committed to farming more productively, profitably and sustainably since the 1940s. The co-operative was created to assure farmers and growers of a supply of reasonably priced fertiliser
As a reflection of the organisation’s sustainable and agricultural focus, eligible entries will explore topics such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing agricultural chemical use, nutrient loss to waterways, and other environmental concerns.
The sponsorship rollout builds on Ballance’s $25 million Future Ready Farms programme – launched last year in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund - SFF Futures, with the goal of developing solutions to help farmers and growers further improve on their sustainable agricultural practices.
Ballance’s SFF Futures Programme Manager, Suzanne Young, says the organisation is immensely proud to be supporting young Kiwis as they step up to tackle the environmental challenges facing New Zealand’s agricultural sector.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for these brilliant young minds to exercise their creativity and passion to address these issues, and we’re excited to see what these future-focused thinkers can come up with.
“Sustainability is fundamental to our work at Ballance, and our aim is to foster and inspire the next generation to continue this mission. Our hope is that their projects will motivate them to pursue a career in agriculture, science or innovation – so that we can help preserve New Zealand’s natural environment and maintain our position as global leaders in sustainability,” says Suzanne.
The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund supports problem-solving and innovation in New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors. It has $40 million available each year to co-invest in initiatives that make a positive and lasting difference to New Zealand. Projects range from projects of less than $100,000 to multi-million-dollar, multi-year programmes.
Ballance will sponsor the Sustainable Agricultural Award special category in the Central Northland, South and East Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Canterbury-Westland, and Otago science and technology fairs, as well as additional sponsorship activity with Auckland North Harbour and Marlborough.
For more information about Ballance Agri-Nutrients, visit www.ballance.co.nz
For more information on SFF Futures, please visit www.sff-futures.mpi.govt.nz