15 February 2019
Andy and Lisa Tippett are passionate about their farm and supporting the wider agricultural industry.
Their successful journey towards farm ownership is testament to their strong family working relationship with Lisa’s parents. After eight years of working their farm as sharemilkers, then equity partners, the opportunity of farm ownership was made possible through good succession planning and wise family support.
Their 135ha effective property is currently milking 400 cows through Open Country and the farm has just completed its third full season as an autumn milking operation. The judges noted the farm’s strong production of 1,100-1,200 kgMS/ha, with strong per cow production of 350-415kgMS/cow at a stocking rate of 3 cows/ha.
Crops are planted on 18% of the farm which is a greater amount due to the farm’s autumn calving. Crops are assessed based on how they fit into the system and what is best for the animals and environment in terms of rotation. They are also never in for more than two years and then rotated to a different area on-farm.
An aesthetically pleasing farm with good infrastructure, the Tippetts’ operation strives to take care of the environment. Waterways are well fenced with riparian planting finished. Shelter planting planning is underway to replace a lot of the shelter removed under previous ownership.
A lake and wetland area has been created by damming a natural spring on the property and the area is now used recreationally by family and neighbours. The judges considered this area a tribute to the Tippetts and an asset that can be enjoyed all year round.
The judges were also particularly impressed by the balance of the business and its people, with the Tippetts committed to sustainability across the board. Excellent time management and the move to autumn milking has allowed the couple more time to look after themselves and their staff, while also having more time with their five children.
Beyond their loyalty to their children and colleagues, Andy and Lisa are integrally involved with their community. Lisa volunteers one day a week with early stage dementia patients and Andy is a volunteer fireman.
Having attended the Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Taranaki last year, the couple were inspired to experience it themselves this year. “We thought the awards would be interesting and an opportunity to hear about other entrants - what they are doing and how they are doing it. Everyone has different focuses and strengths and things to overcome.
“Our advice to others would be to enter as you are. No one is perfect and through the awards you can get ideas and advice for areas to work on.”
Waterforce Integrated Management Award