Thursday, 22 September 2016 08:55

Environment awards prove a worthy challenge for Taranaki couple

Written by 
Opunake dairy farmers Kenneth and Rachel Short say entering the awards was a great challenge for them. Opunake dairy farmers Kenneth and Rachel Short say entering the awards was a great challenge for them.

Entering the Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a great challenge for Opunake dairy farmers Kenneth and Rachel Short.

The equity partners and sharemilkers milk 443 cows on 180ha and are now converting to a fully organic operation.

They first entered the awards in 2014 and were happy to win a category award. They entered again this year and won three categories, including the CB Norwood Ltd Agri-Business Management Award, which recognises farmers’ management practices aimed at operating a successful farm business.

The judges praised the Shorts’ excellent use of agri-business professionals and their knowledge of business management and strategy.

Rachel Short says good business management is important to them.

“We are always trying to fine-tune our system. And with the payout at the current level, it’s even more crucial to constantly review what is happening inside the farm gate.”

Their entry in the awards contest was important to their planning, she says. “It made us sit down together and look hard at what we had done and what we are trying to achieve.”

The judges had a broad range of experience and expertise, and the judging was relaxed and friendly.

“I used to get nervous about these things, but the judges are normal everyday people there to help you.

“It was worthwhile having the judges come onto the farm and give us an outside perspective on our business. Some of their ideas were useful and we enjoyed their feedback.”

The Shorts are now changing their farm system to meet requirements of organic certification. “We’ve had to look hard at our fertiliser policy and how we manage weeds.”

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.


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.