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Coster family sheep and beef farm wins 2007 Bay Of Plenty BFEA

1 January 2007

Coster family sheep and beef farm wins 2007 Bay Of Plenty BFEA

A Tauranga sheep and beef property which has been in the same family for half a century has won the Supreme award in this year’s Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.  Jim and Robyn Coster, their son Allen and his wife Sue work together to run Mataiwhetu Station, a 300ha farm located in the lower Kaimai area.

The Coster family’s beef and sheep property in the lower Kaimai was a “grass desert” once – but half a century on it is now the supreme award winner in this year’s Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The property’s name, Mataiwhetu, means “the place you stand and see the stars”. It’s obvious the Coster family – Jim and Robyn, their son Allen and his wife Sue - have not only looked up at the stars but have also worked with what lies underfoot. Over the years, they have loved and looked after their land well. Because of this, they are well deserving of the supreme award, says Mr Bourke.

Over the years, the Costers have protected most of the streams, waterways and gullies on the property. They have also helped ensure the preservation of 100,000 acres of the Kaimai Forest for the creation of a park for future generations.

The assessment team was impressed by the good condition of the Coster family’s stock, which has won them previous awards elsewhere. Allen and Sue have also progressively altered stock policies for better profitability and to reduce the effect on the usually wet but drought-prone and puggable soils. They modified stock to fit the soil conditions, putting lighter stock on the lighter soil of the steep hill country.

The farm recently became a Monitor Farm, which means the Costers have now opened their business to other farmers to share information and explore more sustainable farming practices for the future.

The Coster Family were also winners of PPCS Best Livestock Farm Award

Other winners were;

LIC Best Dairy Farm Award, Stuart and Alison Paton, Galatea

PGG Wrightson Habitat Improvement Award Stuart and Alison Paton, Galatea

Hill Laboratories Best Harvest Farm Award,Doug and Ruth Espin, Te Puke

Ballance Nutrient Management Award Steve Saunders, Gro Plus Ltd, Pollen Plus Ltd, Te Puna

Gallagher Innovation Award Steve Saunders, Gro Plus Ltd, Pollen Plus Ltd, Te Puna

Environment Bay of Plenty Environmental Award,Winston Fleming, Rotorua

Environment Bay of Plenty Environmental Award, Anne and Stewart Koopal, Rotorua

The Coster family will be hosting a field day on their property on Wednesday 9 May.