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Leading by example

By Cheyenne Stein Photos: Johnny Houston Like many young girls, Megan Hands dreamt of being a vet. Today she’s a farm environmental auditor at Irrigo Centre helping farmers come to grips with environmental policies. Megan grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in Shannon and it was during the early days of the Horizons One Plan that she revised her ... Read More »

Do you aspire to farm ownership?

Anne Hughes It is still possible to get some skin in the game of farm ownership if you are open minded to different options and have the patience to seek the right opportunity. Rabobank national manager farm ownership options Brent Irving advises aspiring farm owners to develop skills, save money, build equity, network and keep your nose clean. “New Zealand’s ... Read More »

FARM OWNERSHIP: Harder you work, the luckier you get

In the first of a series looking at how to achieve farm ownership, Country-Wide writer Rebecca Harper talks about her and husband Richard Greaves’ experiences.   Leasing hill country sheep and beef farms and shearing our own sheep for six years enabled us to save enough to enter an equity partnership and buy a farm in Pongaroa. We farm 550 ... Read More »

Environmental plans – Water: A different approach

Part two of a series in which Country-Wide writers look at regional environmental plan changes around the country. Lynda Gray Otago Regional Council’s (ORC) water plan changes came into force on May 1, 2014, after almost five years of consultation and discussion aimed at achieving long-term “recreational-level” water quality. A different approach has been taken to other councils, with an ... Read More »

The genetic taste test

Anne Hughes Selecting on meat quality could be a reality for terminal sire breeders by this spring. AgResearch senior scientist in the animal genomics group Shannon Clarke says a genomic test is being developed to predict which terminal sire rams are likely to produce offspring with better-quality meat. Clarke says terminal sire breeders will be able to use genomic breeding ... Read More »

Home Block: New house, pity about the rain

Suzie Corboy Owaka, Catlins After 29 weeks living in a caravan, parked inside a shed on the farm to protect me from the Owaka wind, I moved into our new house on January 3. It is great to have a lot more space to live and cook in, and obviously it is brilliant to be in a new house, though ... Read More »

Focus on home-grown feed

Doug Dibley Historically New Zealand’s competitive advantage has been our ability to grow and harvest high-quality pasture at a low cost. Nothing has changed. Owl farm is into its second season as a demonstration dairy farm and optimising home-grown feed remains the key focus. For various reasons our performance during the 2015/2016 season was poor. We had issues with staff, ... Read More »

Grow-your-own riparian plants

Jackie Harrigan A cheeky entry into the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards switched Paul and Lisa Charmley on to what they could be doing to enhance and protect the environment on their 350-cow Dannevirke dairy farm. While they managed to win the Hills Laboratories Soil Management Award for their soil management, they say the big win for them was the ... Read More »

Green, green grass of Camden

Renewal of the pasture of a Canterbury farming business’s four farms inside four years was conducted like a military operation. Anne Lee reports. If there was a catch phrase for Camden Group’s massive pasture renewal programme it would have to be go early and go hard. The family owned Canterbury farming business is in the fourth season of what’s become ... Read More »

Secrets to farm careers

Anne Lee Pastoral care and tailored, quality training are the top of the list for a Canterbury farm employers group looking to support and retain staff. The group, which includes more than 20 members, is known as the Canterbury Farm Capability Society (CFCS). It’s chairman is Mark Cressey, award-winning sharemilker for Rakaia Incorporation’s Tahu a Tao dairy farm near Dorie ... Read More »