INDEPENDENT NEWS

Recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy

Published: Mon 27 Jun 2016 10:22 AM
2016 NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
Recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy
Richard and Dianne clearly share a deep passion for their family’s show piece farm on the edge of Auckland city. Their beef breeding and sheep breeding and finishing operation runs 4820 stock units on 331ha (effective) with a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.
Richard and Dianne, who have three adult sons, have farmed the flat to easy-rolling property since the late 1970s.
They are pragmatic about protecting the environment for future generations. All waterways have been fenced, and large areas of raupo act as sediment traps to capture nutrients. Biodiversity corridors link the upper catchment areas to the bush, and bush remnants have been planted with native species such as kauri, rimu and pohutukawa.
Whenuanui runs 300 Angus breeding cows and a Coopworth ewe flock. Mixed-age ewes lambed at 162 percent last year, with hoggets achieving an impressive 129 percent. All lambs are sold prime under the “Kaipara Lamb” brand.
Assisted by long-time manager Jeffrey Bradly, the Kidds’ apply well-planned winter stock policies, outstanding soil management and the extensive use of summer cropping to minimise the environmental impacts of the operation. They are well regarded within their local district and wider New Zealand. Their commitment to their community and agriculture is demonstrated by their lengthy involvement in areas such as health, sport and education.
JUDGES COMMENTS
Richard and Dianne’s exceptional communication skills and broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture, both nationally and globally, will make them superb ambassadors for New Zealand’s primary industry.
Their property is a showcase farm on the edge of New Zealand’s largest city. They regard it as a privilege to be farming close to Auckland and they epitomise the contribution Auckland’s hinterland - a rural environment populated by real farms - makes to the region. They have complementary skills and work well as a team. Their long-term focus on environmental stewardship and business sustainability makes them great role models for other farmers.
Whenuanui Farm is a beautifully presented property, with shade and shelter in every paddock. Waterways are fenced and several large areas of raupo act as sediment traps. Water quality is actively monitored and a pest control programme is in place. Environmental impacts are minimised through the outstanding management of soils, innovative use of new pasture species and the extensive use of summer cropping.
Their operation achieves impressive stock and financial performance and their commitment to the environment has opened up opportunities and created new revenue streams, including the ‘Kaipara Lamb’ brand that highlights the production of high quality lamb meat with minimal stress to lambs. The Kidds make good use of a webpage to promote Kaipara Lamb and to market their bed and breakfast and on-farm filming businesses.
Richard and Dianne are passionate about sheep and beef farming. They have taken a strong leadership role in their industry and are highly respected by others in the wider community. They value staff, and their commitment to their community and agriculture is demonstrated by their longstanding and deep involvement in areas such as health, sport and education.
THE GORDON STEPHENSON TROPHY
When Waikato farmer and conservationist, the late Gordon Stephenson first mooted the idea for a farm environment competition in 1991 he had no idea just how successful the concept would become. Gordon said the Farm Environment Awards were developed as a way to recognise farmers who were trying to balance farm productivity with environmental protection.
The Gordon Stephenson Trophy is awarded to a Ballance Farm Environment Award Supreme Winner. The awardee will be recognised as an “Ambassador” for the promotion of sustainable and profitable farming.
ENDS

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