Great Farming Stories

William Beetham - Beetham Pastural

14 April 2020

William Beetham - Beetham Pastural

2020 finalists: William Beetham of Beetham Pastural - Sheep & beef.

Partnerships are driving pastural performance on this family sheep and beef farming business that has a legacy spanning 163 years. The family has a strong sense of stewardship toward land, people and history, and are striving to create a sustainable future for generations to come.  

The Beethams entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because they felt it would be a useful addition to their journey toward sustainable farming. 

Located in Masterton and Kapiti, Beetham Pastural has three family shareholders and operates three farms – each with its own environment plan and independently accounted for financially and in terms of production.  

The complex operation requires excellent business planning and attention to detail – two skills that the judges commended the Beethams for. They were impressed with the clear plan for each property’s development, meaning the individual farms effectively functioned as part of an overall system.  

The family motto is that while there’s no such thing as the perfect job, there is such a thing as the perfect effort. They apply this philosophy across the business, empowering staff so they buy into the business goals and objectives. 

The property features native bush preserved under QEII National Trust Covenants and numerous measures have been implemented to reduce environmental impact, enhance biodiversity and preserve the landscape. These include extensive erosion-control and waterway plantings, areas for carbon sequestration, wetland restoration and projects to mitigate sediment and nutrient loss. The judges commended the Beethams for their strategic planting of trees and the extensive bush retirements across all three properties.The team is focused on finding new ways to protect soils while increasing production, and stocking policies are centred around sustainability.

Family, people, history and community – including local iwi – are at the heart of this business, with a strong focus on how the land will be handed to the next generation.