Great Farming Stories

2020 Canterbury Regional Supreme Winners

14 April 2020

2020 Canterbury Regional Supreme Winners

Dairy farmers Tony Coltman & Dana Carver of Canlac Holdings are the 2020 Canterbury Regional Supreme Winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Canlac Holdings was a high-performing farm when this couple took over in 2013 and their focus on good management practice means they have lifted it to another level. At the same time, there has been an impressive reduction in both the farm’s environmental footprint and nitrogen leaching. 

Tony and his wife Dana entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards to profile their sustainable business and demonstrate how farmers care for their environment. 

Operating under an equity partnership, Canlac Holdings is two farms being run as one business. Canlac Dairy has 1,000 cows, while Quantum Dairy down the road runs 1,150 cows.  

Overseeing 10 employees, Tony is determined to show it’s possible to look after the environment while being profitable – and the results speak for themselves. The farm is bringing in high profits while cutting nitrogen leaching by 48%. The judges were impressed with the production and profitability, along with the significant drop in nutrient losses that are beyond regulatory limits. 

Stock health is a priority at Canlac, along with a strong focus on maximising the high-genetic herd through strategic breeding and the retention of first calvers. The judges commended Canlac’s strong business acumen and the large amount of recording and monitoring. 

Tony and Dana are keen to leave the farm in top condition for future generations and have planted plenty of shelter over the past two years, with plans to put in more plus native plants. They have significantly increased the effluent area, while the efficiency of the sophisticated irrigation system is continually being improved and they’re striving to maintain soil fertility. 

The couple has clear goals for both themselves and the health and wellbeing of staff, plus are heavily involved in off-farm activities. The judges praised Tony’s involvement with the wider industry and Dana’s interest in social wellbeing.  

2020 awards received:

  • Canterbury Regional Supreme Winner 2020
  • Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award
  • DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
  • Synlait Climate Stewardship Award
  • WaterForce Wise with Water Award

Read more about the awards.