14 April 2020
2020 finalists: Sandra & Chris Campbell of Oakwood Hills - Dairy.
Caring for the environment comes first as this couple strives to enhance the land and stock at their dairy farm. The result is quality pasture, healthy animals and excellent water enhancement as the Campbells work towards full ownership of Oakwood Hills.
Sandra and Chris entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because they are passionate about their sustainable farming journey and are keen to share it with others.
Oakwood Hills is operated under an equity partnership that was formed with Peter and Elaine Carnie in 2016. Up to 480 cows are milked on the partially self-contained farm, with Chris and Sandra contract milking as well as being responsible for all farm operations. This gives them the freedom to try new management practices and farming techniques – an ideal situation because their long-term goal is to fully own the property.
The Campbells are always pushing to improve their herd, the land and production – driving efficiency from all management areas. Their efforts are paying off and the judges commended their breeding plan that has resulted in cow production that is well above average. The judges praised the strong, effective relationships they have with their farming team – reflecting the Campbells’ belief that their success is indeed a team effort.
Property and environmental improvements are another strong focus, with the judges saying that the environment is at the forefront of the couple’s thinking. Waterways are fenced, nutrients are carefully managed, and riparian planting is underway – including the propagation of their own native seedlings. The judges commended the property’s quality pasture, healthy stock and excellent water, saying the Campbells were conscientious and passionate about their farming environment.
Looking after people both on and off the farm is another cornerstone of the business, with the Campbells showing a strong commitment to their family, farm team and the wider rural community.