15 February 2019
The Rocks Station, owned and operated by Andrew and Lynnore Templeton, has a goal of being a world-class farming business.
The Templetons entered the 2019 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards to help them improve their environmental focus and to apply expert advice to their farming systems.
Walking away with the Regional Supreme Award was a pinch-me-moment.
“We had no expectations at all of winning. We were taken completely by surprise and were very chuffed. It was particularly pleasing to win the Massey University Innovation Award, The Norwood’s Business Management Award and Beef & Lamb NZ’s Award for Production as innovation, production, and management are the key drivers in our business.”
Thriving against a challenging environmental backdrop, the Templetons’ sheep and beef business has excelled thanks to the use of good genetics and innovative breeding with a productive and profitable sheep flock of Merinos and Halfbreds. The judges noted the excellent condition of the stock.
Andrew has a strong passion for wool, and this is a key component in their sheep breeding efforts, with impressive returns, including 40,000kg in annual wool production. The Templetons have established breeding policies to introduce specific genes – Inverdale, GDF9 and Myomax – to further enhance the two and three-way crosses thus maximising the benefits of hybrid vigour. Through diversification of stock classes, they have increased income and the focus is on feeding for production versus maintenance.
Over 15 years, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to improve the business including 150ha of irrigation, 1000ha of reseeding and 40kms of fencing, some which have been introduced to exclude stock from most of the Taieri River. The judges commended a solid recording system for nutrient management.
Close to completing a Level Two Farm Environment Plan, the Templetons are starting to look at ways to enhance/plant biodiversity on-farm. The judges noted a good use of break crops to eliminate weeds and that the couple made a wise decision selecting the appropriate pasture species for the climate and area.
A comprehensive animal health plan is in action, and Lynnore contributes her comprehensive knowledge of animal health and parasitology from previous work experience. The Rocks Station is resourcefully harnessing what the sun has to offer with the use of an electronic solar panel system on the woolshed. This supplements the farmhouse and woolshed electricity.
“The awards highlighted to us that many of the practices we have put into place based around increasing or optimising the production in our farming system are also having positive effects on our environment and our long-term sustainability.”
Andrew says for the future they will put all potential environmental impacts at the forefront of managerial decisions. “Plus, a firm belief optimum production can be achieved in an environmentally sustainable way.”
Lynnore adds: “The awards have been like a shot of adrenaline for me - it’s like looking at your business through a new set of eyes. We have updated our Business Plan, refocused our short and medium-term goals, and are excited about our farming future.”
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
Massey University Innovation Award
Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
2019 Otago Regional Supreme Winner