14 April 2020
2020 finalists: The Stanley’s – Ron & Cathy, Noel & Suzy and Karl & Nicola of Stanley Brothers Trust - Pork producer, cropping, fattening cattle.
There’s been a big investment in future-proofing at this Opunake property, with the Stanley brothers embracing new technologies to drive productivity and animal welfare. While pork production is the farm’s main business, it is bolstered by two additional income streams – beef fattening and cropping.
The brothers entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because they were keen to get a second opinion as they continue to develop the business.
As the name suggests, there’s strong family involvement in this farm that the Stanley’s have owned for about 70 years. During that time, they have grown the piggery from 100 sows to between 400 and 500, now selling 28 pigs per sow every year. In 2018, they sold their dairy herd, freeing up land to grow maize and hay silage that is sold to surrounding dairy farms. In addition, the farm fattens beef cattle to 550kg.
It’s a highly productive farm and the brothers are striving hard to ensure products of the highest quality leave the gate. The judges were impressed with the investment in future-proofing, saying the Stanley’s have a strong vision on how they’re managing their capital.
With the help of five staff, the Stanley’s have established sustainable systems to set the property up for the next generation and the judges commended their use of land to balance environmental conflicts. They’re eager to implement new technology into the business and this is paying off in terms of productivity and animal welfare. The family is actively involved in the community-driven Oaonui water scheme, with water reticulation supplied by a pipe scheme to the property.
The farm features a significant wetland within an area of sand dunes and the brothers are passionate about protecting this environment with fencing and planting, while there is also significant riparian planting.