Our Growers

We are proud to be working alongside our growers, finding new solutions to the challenges we face. Here we share our growers' stories with you - showing how they are putting into practice the principles that underpin the NZM production science programme - and the successes they are having.

Ben and Vanessa Hore at Blackstone Hill

Ben and Vanessa Hore love farming Merino sheep as part of their family business at Blackstone Hill in Central Otago. With a desire to lift the future performance of their flock, they are making the most of opportunities to work with a range of advisors to help them reach their goals.

Click on the video below, and read the short case study, to find out more about the results that Ben and Vanessa are getting at Blackstone Hill.

Tony and Jenna Stevens at Mount Benger

Over the past five years, Tony and Jenna Stevens have transitioned their flock from Perendales to quarterbreds on their hill country farm, Mount Benger, in Central Otago.

Click on the video below, and read the short case study, to find out more about their passion for fine-wool sheep farming and how they are shifting to higher-performing fine-wool genetics to improve both their wool and lamb production.

Mark and Liz Hutton at Charles Hope

Mark and Liz Hutton are on a mission to transform the profitability of their 1,700 hectare North Otago farm.  A change to fine-wool sheep, and better feeding through an expansion in lucerne and fodderbeet, is proving to be a formula for success.  They are working with the NZM production science team to maximise this opportunity and build a strong foundation for future success at Charles Hope.

Check out the video below to hear more about Mark and Liz's experiences transitioning to fine-wool sheep, and read the case study to see the difference these changes are making to profitability and the Huttons' enjoyment of farming at Charles Hope.  


You can click here for a lower resolution of the PDF (168 KB). 

Richard and Annabelle Subtil at Omarama Station

Richard and Annabelle Subtil, and their stock managers John and Kirsten Mathias, take a balanced approach to their sheep and cattle farming enterprise.

In this video, we speak with Richard and Annabelle about the steps they are taking to lift the performance and profitability of the sheep flock at Omarama Station - from breeding and feeding, to using new technology to track their progress.

In terms of genetics, Omarama Station requires a dual-purpose fine-wool sheep to best meet the requirements of the customers they sell to - Icebreaker for their wool and SILERE alpine origin merino for their meat.  They see both estimated breeding values (EBVs) and visual appraisal as essential aspects of their ram-buying decisions. 

To get the most out of the genetics they select, the Subtils are further developing the property. With both dryland development and irrigation complementing the steeper hill and country, they are giving their stock the best opportunity to reach their genetic potential. Richard and Annabelle ensure that any development respects environmentally sensitive areas; a range of QEII  and DoC covenants are in place over more than 2,000 hectares of the property.

Since 2012, Omarama Station has used electronic identification (EID) technology in the ewe flock to record more robust data.  With one simple tag, they can record the whole history of a sheep.  This gives them hard data showing them which sheep type is performing the best on their property.  Over time, this will enable them to shift the whole flock towards better production.

Omarama Station field day

Dr Mark Ferguson (NZM's Production Science Manager) and Lewis Frost (consultant to AllFlex) were guest speakers at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards field day held at Omarama Station on 6 November 2015.

Mark and Lewis spoke about the opportunities to improve the performance of the Omarama Station Merino flock through estimated breeding values (EBVs) and electronic identification (EID). Click here (or see the images below) for more details from that presentation.

Paul and Prue Ensor at Glenaan Station

NZM has partnered with Farm IQ at Glenaan Station to assist the Ensors in getting the most from their ultra-fine Merino sheep. Through ongoing monitoring and measuring all aspects of production, the Ensors have identified areas for improvement to maximise their returns from the property. 

You can download a copy of the booklet from a field day held at Glenaan in March 2015 here.  It includes the Ensors' business goals, the results they are achieving and the principles behind the changes they have implemented.  

For more information about the Farm IQ demonstration at Glenaan Station, click here.

Glenaan Station, Rakaia Gorge.

Glenaan Station, Rakaia Gorge.