Brothers lead the way at awards

Canterbury’s Hamish and Simon Guild of High Peak Station are the winners of the Gordon Stephenson...
Canterbury’s Hamish and Simon Guild of High Peak Station are the winners of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Brothers Hamish and Simon Guild from Canterbury’s High Peak Station have won the Gordon Stephenson Trophy at the National Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton.

That makes them this year’s National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing.

The 3760ha property has diversified from a typical high country station to bring in more income streams and is managed by an eight-way partnership running four businesses.

The Guild partnership includes James, Anna, Hamish, Gemma, Simon and Kate as well as Amelia and Tom Dunbar.

Judges were impressed by the way they added value to their enterprises of high-end products and experiences and brought different strengths to the table.

High Peak’s income comes from sheep, cattle, deer, honey and tourism which is worked together to create a sustainable business.

The families won the Canterbury Regional Supreme Award in March, with the brothers representing them during the national judgingprocess.

High Peak Station’s Dunbar and Guild family of Simon Guild, left, Amelia Dunbar, Hamish Guild,...
High Peak Station’s Dunbar and Guild family of Simon Guild, left, Amelia Dunbar, Hamish Guild, Gemma Guild, Anna and James Guild and Tom Dunbar have been crowned model sustainable farmers. Brothers Hamish and Simon accepted the Gordon Stephenson Trophy on behalf of the family at the National Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
For the Gordon Stephenson Trophy, the winners must go through on-farm judging as well as a panel interview, andshow they have a strong financial, social and environmental operation.

Panel chairwoman Karen Williams said the standard of the regional supreme winners was exceptionally high.

“Hamish and Simon gave articulate, succinct and well thought-out responses to all of our questions, and demonstrated a strong customer and market focus, with particular awareness ofglobal markets and how ourproducts are seen offshore."

She said they had a strong focus on succession, with theidea of making the "pie bigger" so everyone in the family had a place to operate.

The family’s approach to climate resilience stood out, particularly as they had experienced floods followed by drought, she said.

This included taking on science to adopt more weather tolerant pasture species and improving their infrastructure to be more adaptable to climate change and severe weather.

The Guilds were praised for their creative approach to health and wellbeing within their team and their involvement in the wider community. Among the 10 regional winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards there was a common theme of improving biodiversity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a willingness to tell the story of food and fibre production. They were celebrated at the showcase hosted by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

tim.cronshaw@alliedpress.co.nz

 

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