Four finalists have been named for this year's Otago Ballance
Farm Environment Awards.
Craig and Emma Lister farm a 267ha sheep and beef farm near
Milton, owned by Mr Lister's family. Prior to moving
full-time into the farming business, Mr Lister worked
part-time as a truck driver and worked on other properties,
while Mrs Lister came from a banking background.
The couple, who have leased the farm since 2011, run 2400
ewes, lambing on average between 144% and 155%, and finish
all their lambs.
Wayne McIntosh manages a 64ha pip and stonefruit orchard at
Earnscleugh, with about 32,000 fruit trees. The property has
been in the McIntosh family since 1881, originally as a farm
but mostly orchard since 1910.
Mr McIntosh, a trained primary school teacher, returned to
the property about 10 years ago, following extensive overseas
experience, mostly in education.
Suzie and Brendon Bearman run a 245ha (160ha milking
platform) farm near Milton, running a 400 Jersey and
crossbred cow herd. They also lease a neighbouring 80ha
The couple purchased the property in 1999 after progressing
through the dairy industry as sharemilkers for Tasman
Agriculture for nine years.
Mrs Bearman ran the farming business with support from farm
manager Thomas Hewitt, who oversaw the staff and day-to-day
management, while Mr Bearman has a part-time job as a truck
David and Sarah Smith run a hill country sheep and beef
property inland from Waikouaiti.
Mt Watkins (920ha) was bought by Mr and Mrs Smith, and Mr
Smith's parents, Rex and Glenys, in 2005, and a 510ha
neighbouring property was first leased and then purchased two
The property has been the focus of an extensive development
programme. The Smith family run 4000 ewes, lambing on average
135%. They finish all their lambs and also finish about 450
Friesian bulls each year on contract.
The winners will be announced at a function at the Lake
Wanaka Centre on April 11.