Friday, 08 September 2017 14:55

Environment awards ‘great experience’

Written by 
John and Roslyn Weir. John and Roslyn Weir.

Award-winning Taranaki dairy farmers John and Roslyn Weir, of Springmount Farms, are encouraging other farmers to consider entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The Weirs were finalists in this year’s Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards and went on to win the LIC Dairy Award and the CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award for the region.

“You show a group of people around your farm and they give you feedback about whether or not they think you’re heading on the right track. It’s not biased… just as they see it on the day,” says Weir.

“We definitely encourage people to enter. You’ll be surprised what you end up with and what you get out of it. It’s well worthwhile.”

Springmount Farms is an intergenerational dairy business run by the Weirs on mostly flat central Taranaki land. The total area is 200ha and 520 cows were peak milked this season on the 150ha milking platform at Toko, east of Stratford.

John and Roslyn have two children, Nathan (22) and Ashleigh (20). John’s great-grandfather, also John, began farming the original 55ha block in 1916. John and Roslyn have been in charge since 1996.

The Weirs won a Century Farm award in Lawrence, Otago, in May. Their family farm has grown gradually with every generation buying a neighbouring property. They aim to continue the family legacy and keep everything “together and in the family,” Weir says.

“We’re proud of what we’ve done over time. Our family has been here for so long.”

As first-time entrants, the Weirs had no expectations going into the awards but were rapt to win. They had attended the awards dinner the previous year as a guest of Ballance Agri-Nutrients, which was valuable preparation, then attended the supreme winner’s field day this year.

Weir says they enjoyed showing their farm to the judges.

“It’s interesting to get feedback from someone totally unconnected to your business,” he says.

And the judging was a good process to go through, “like a reverse interview, and interesting as we only had a short timeframe to tell them about the business. We had a couple of small points in the feedback report we needed to address in more depth but there were no surprises.”

More like this

New chair for Ballance

Former Fonterra Shareholder Council chairman Duncan Coull has been elected as the new chair for Fertiliser co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

Treat milk area like a kitchen

Strict hygiene standards on dairy farms will be an important part of long-term export market protection, say award-winning Waikato farmers Adrian and Pauline Ball.

A rock to both the NZ and Moroccan economies

New Zealand farmers probably do not realise the contribution they are making to the economic and community life of people in Southern Morocco, says Hajbouha Zoubeir, president, Phosboucraa Foundation.

Featured

Feds call for pause on regulations

The Government has been warned that it needs to back off some of its signalled regulations if it wants farming to help the NZ economy recover from the COVID-19 hit.

 

Tough time on farm for many

Under pressure from drought and COVID-19, Woodville dairy farmer Ben Allomes says: ‘we can’t shut our doors and just walk away’.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Deafening silence

Your old mate reckons it’s incredible how people’s attitudes have changed since the COVID-19 crisis hit us.

Celibate times

A mate of the Hound’s reckons the COVID lockdown must be getting serious when we are being told not to…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Rules driving farmers out

New farming rules around sustainability are driving elderly farmers out of the dairy industry, says agri-economist Phil Journeaux.