Otago farmers Trevor and Karen Peters are among the six
finalists in the Lincoln University Foundation South Island
Farmer of the Year competition.
The Peters family operates a sheep and beef hill country
farming enterprise across six properties. Nominees noted
their commitment to the farming industry and their focus on
Farming was a very high-cost business to get into but one
with a low cash return, Mr Peters said.
''We have focused on a process for succession planning to
ensure that business decisions on the property can focus on
the long term, knowing that there will be a continuity of
investment,'' he said.
He welcomed the judging process and said initial feedback
from judges had already caused him to take a fresh look at
some aspects of the operation.
The Simpson family, from Lake Tekapo, runs high country
merino property Balmoral Station with diversification in
forestry, deer, cropping, property development, conservation
recreation, and meat and wool on-processing, as well as a
helicopter pad and golf course.
Sam Simpson believed diversification was one of the strengths
of the operation.
''The property comprises a number of business entities and
income streams which allows us to maximise the potential for
income and profit and can help shield the business from the
ups and downs that all farm businesses are subject to,'' he
Neil and Philippa Gardyne run a sheep, beef and cropping farm
at Otama, near Gore. Their entry was noted for their focus on
innovation, positivity and a continual striving for success.
While the farm was not a traditional inherited family farm
property - they got into their business through a shared
equity enterprise - family was very much a part of their
Their three children were very involved in the farm and
13-year-old Mark had a role to play in the first round of
judging and would also be speaking as part of their
presentation on finals night, Mr Gardyne said.
The other finalists are Alan and Sharron Davie-Martin who run
a dairy farming operation at Culverden, Marlborough sheep and
beef farmers Simon and Pip Todhunter, and Marlborough
viticulturist Peter Yealands, who has a range of subsidiary
activities associated with his Yealands winery, including
pigs, cattle and sheep.
The final will be held at Lincoln University on November 28.
Judging co-ordinator Tricia Macfarlane said finalists were
selected for their innovations on-farm as well as their
commitment to improving profitability, productivity and
growth of their business while also implementing sound
''Clear and targeted goal-setting was a common theme among
the finalists. Industry relationships were fostered and
acknowledged as an integral part of their farming
enterprises,'' she said.
This year, the main prize of a travel/study grant had been
lifted from $15,000 to $20,000. There would also be four
special category prizes of $5000 each awarded for the first
time - the BNZ award for best human resource management, the
Lincoln University award for technology and innovation, the
Silver Fern Farms ''Plate to Pasture'' award for consumer
focus, and the Resource Use Efficiency award for excellence
in sustainable resource management.