15 April 2020
Here are our wonderful 2020 entrants for the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards. We congratulate them all for becoming involved in the awards programme - it's a privilege to have learned more about their food and fibre production businesses.
Ryan Sanderson & Malinda Wynyard, Hollow Point Pastures — Matawai
Contract milkers Ryan Sanderson and Malinda Wynyard, Hollow Point Pastures Ltd, run a 325ha dairy farm at Matawai for owners Mark Anderson and Kathleen Wynyard, Katmar Ltd.
Known locally as Homebrook, the farm milks 700 cows on a 300ha milking platform. In the 2018/19 season, 650 cows produced 242,000 kilograms of milk solids (806kg per hectare).
Ryan and Malinda are planting trees, fencing wetlands and drains, and creating silt and excess nutrient filters to help the waterways and provide habitat for wildlife such as weka and native ducks. Great care is taken to provide their animals with top quality feed, both grown on farm and waste fruit and vegetables brought in from local packhouses.
One of the reasons they made the move to Matawai was to be part of a great community and spend more time with their young family.
Michael & Mandy and Richard & Jenny Loffler, Loffler Partnership — Whangara
Sheep & beef, kiwifruit, citrus
Michael and Mandy Loffler have leased their sheep, beef, kiwifruit and citrus property at Whangara from the Loffler Family Trust for the past seven years.
The Trust owns the 320ha property. The sheep and beef breeding and finishing operation sees all progeny sold prime. There also is a 3.6ha gold kiwifruit orchard with 1.4ha under development, plus 1ha of lemons and 3ha of oranges.
Native bush blocks are cared for, native shelter belts planted and poplar and willow poles used for erosion control. Extensive work has been done on the farm’s main waterway to stop erosion and reduce sediment loss.
Michael is the fifth generation on the family farm at Whangara, after taking over from his parents Richard and Jenny. They are proud of the family’s efforts to protect the farm’s environment and financial viability for future generations.
George & Bobbi Williams, Mutuera Station — Wharekopae
Sheep & beef
George and Bobbi Williams lease the 1050ha sheep and beef farm, Mutuera Station at Wharekopae, from George’s parents Chris and Kaye.
After travelling and working in the UK, George farmed with his Dad from 2008 before leasing the farm with Bobbi in 2013. They lamb 3500 ewes plus hoggets with 90 to 100% of the lamb crop finished on the farm and calve 230 mixed age cows with 50 to 60% of bull progeny finished before the second winter. They also finish extra steers and bulls.
Volcanic ash/pumice soil suits R2 bull wintering on swede crops. There are plenty of mature native blocks retired from grazing and George and Bobbi also fenced off another 14ha native block in 2018.
Succession is a work in progress; George and Bobbi currently own the livestock and hope to be the owners of Mutuera Station in the near future.
Dan & Billie Herries, Taramoa — Puketitiri
Sheep & beef
Puketitiri sheep and beef farm, Taramoa, is managed by Dan and Billie Herries for owners Andrew Herries and Wayne and Nicky Breeze.
Taramoa is 564ha and winters more than 2000 ewes plus replacements and 100 mixed-age cows plus replacements. The farm is externally accredited by Global Animal Partnership (Step 4) for entry into the premium US lamb market through Atkins Ranch.
More than 100 hectares is retired from grazing and ranges from 400-year-old red beech forest to regenerating podocarp, manuka and wetland species. Extensive riparian fencing and planting has been carried out, eco-sourcing and propagating seed where possible. Native bats, kiwi and kaka can be found on the property. Dan has been going to Taramoa most of his life and has a strong connection to the land. It gives Dan and Billie great pleasure to enhance and protect the values of the property.
Richard Clark, Waipaoa Forests — Manutuke
Farm forestry (& glamping)
Waipaoa Forests is a 160ha farm forestry business with a wetland development and glamping owned by father and son team David and Richard Clark at Manutuke.
Waipaoa Forests is mostly steep, north-facing hill country in two blocks – Ross Block bought in 1996 and Shanks Block bought in 2015. Both have alternative timber species and are registered with the Emissions Trading Scheme. Several stand-out species were evident from Ross Block and were chosen again for Shanks, which was planted in 2016.
An eight-hectare lake, created from an enduring wetland on the valley floor of Shanks forest, is showing enormous promise as wild fowl habitat. There is a new glamping business on the water’s edge and a downhill mountain bike track.
Some of the over-arching goals of the business are to provide a legacy for future generations of the family, provide recreational opportunities, protect the land and make it a pleasant part of the landscape.
Evan & Linda Potter, Waipapa — Elsthorpe
Sheep, beef, deer
Evan and Linda Potter have been farming sheep, beef and deer on their Central Hawke’s Bay hill country property, Waipapa, for more than 20 years.
Waipapa has grown from the original 580ha to 740ha (600ha effective) since 1998. Ewes are put to a terminal ram with all progeny sold, cattle are all trading stock and the deer are a self-replacing velveting herd.
There is a focus on biodiversity and trees. There is a regenerating 125ha QEII National Trust block and 20ha of pine trees. An annual pole planting programme helps with shade and erosion control, and there is regular pest control, and native, wetland and riparian planting.
The Potters use a holistic approach with a focus on producing meat, wool and velvet in a sustainable manner. They say Waipapa is an awesome environment to raise a family, live and work and they appreciate the opportunity to be kaitiaki of their land.