15 February 2019
Sam and Philippa (Pip) Trotter are living proof you can do it all. Sam manages a sheep breeding and intensive cattle grazing farm, while Philippa is a full-time pharmacy manager and mum raising their three children.
Despite all of the competing priorities in their life, the Trotters continue to succeed and always hold themselves to higher standards, which is evident in their approach to managing their diverse operation. The farm carries in the order of 680 ewes, 416 trading lambs, 175 dairy heifer grazers, 100 2y steers (Angus and Angus cross) and 140 rising 1y beef steers. Malting barley is grown as a cash crop and part of the pasture renovation cycle (15 – 20ha) on the class I to III soils. Maize silage has also been grown on contract.
United in their goal to achieve very high standards of livestock management for grazing clients or beef and lamb markets, the Trotters balance their commitment to the economic and environmental sustainability of the business while also ensuring their lifestyle helps the entire family thrive. This balance impressed the judges.
The current operational focuses are to maximise their income from grazing livestock and maximise the appropriate plantings on the farm to reduce soil erosion, improve animal welfare, and lower the farm’s environmental footprint.
Sam’s main focus in previous years has been developing a reputation for achieving high weight-gain rates in dairy heifer grazing contracts with the Wanganui Vet Club. Approximately 450 dairy heifers have been grazed each year.
Each mob of cattle has its own separate set of paddocks in the grazing rotation, which allows ease of management, acts as security against disease, and presents livestock in mob sizes suited to regular weighing in the cattle yards.
A Horizons Whole Farm Plan (WFP) was prepared in 2016 and now guides development and environmental management at Bushmere. As well as organising the rotational grazing system for separate mobs of dairy grazers, beef steers, ewes and lambs, Sam has undertaken some of the conservation planting.
Of their selection as a finalist the Trotters say, “It is rewarding someone else can see what we are trying to achieve. We went to the awards last year and thought they were amazing. We want to be part of telling amazing stories and to bring not just the rural, but also the mainstream news media on this journey, so that people can see we are committed to improvement.”
Awards Won 2019
Horizons Regional Council Award for the Integration of Trees