14 April 2020
2020 finalists: Richard & Chrissie Wright of Tamar - Beef, dairy & Cropping.
Scale is no barrier, and attention to detail paramount, at this 1,850ha Mt Somers property that has grown considerably since the Wrights bought it in 2002. The business is an inspiring example of a family committed to advancing good people into farming and providing options for family succession.
Tamar was entered into the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because the Wrights believe they have improved the farm while managing it in a responsible, environmentally conscientious manner. They’re also keen for guidance on improving environmental management.
The beef, dairy and cropping farm is self-contained in terms of stock replacements and grazing, ensuring a profitable and productive business with very healthy animals. The Wrights are hands-on managers who are passionate about farming and proud of their team that runs 7,500 cattle and tends 225ha of crops. The judges were impressed with the business structure around how the Wrights advance others into farming. They purchased Tamar through share-milking and now strive to offer the same opportunity to the next generation of farmers.
The judges commended the significant number of trees planted on the property, including shelter belts, ornamental and native plantings. The river boundaries are planted with willows and poplars, while there is a joint venture with bee apiaries to plant manuka and other bee-friendly natives. Native birdlife is encouraged, plus the Wrights have wild pheasants, quails and peacocks on the farm.
Being self-contained in terms of stock ensures healthy animals that are protected from outside diseases, and the judges were impressed with the level of biosecurity. They also commended the Wrights’ understanding and management of nutrients, including nutrient loss being protected on river boundaries. In addition, the farm has responsible grazing practices and crop rotation, and has a focus on energy efficiency. The judges praised the use of technology by this profitable and productive business.