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Canterbury farmers Mark and Devon Slee have won the National Winner title in the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Their win was announced at the New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust's National Sustainability Showcase in Christchurch on June 26. The Gordon Stephenson trophy was presented to the couple by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
The Slees were chosen from the 10 regional Supreme winners of the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Their business, Melrose Dairy Limited, is based on 1014ha in the Ealing district, south of Ashburton. With a milking platform of 660ha, Melrose Dairy milks more than 2600 cows on three dairy units. NZFE acting chair Simon Saunders said the Slees would be great ambassadors for New Zealand agriculture.
''Mark and Devon possess the outstanding communication and leadership skills necessary to spread the sustainability message to both a national and international audience,'' he said.
Entries for the 2015 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open soon.