Anjena, Arjun, Amreeta and Daljit Singh of Lawwal Holsteins have been announced as the Regional Supreme Winners at the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Hamilton this evening.
Their journey began when Karamjit Singh migrated from India to New Zealand in 1969, and 1972 bought his first herd of 65 jersey cows with his wife, Mindy.
Their late son, Aman, and his wife, Daljit, were focused on feeding cows to their potential, looking after the environment and increasing production per cow. Aman’s quest for knowledge about free-stall barns took him around the world and, in 2018, a final design was selected and built on the property. It houses 1,000 cows and is run today by his three children, Anjena, Arjun and Amreeta.
The free-stall barn system enables cows to be provided with a fresh total mixed ration that ultimately means they produce less methane than outdoor, fresh-pasture-fed cows.
Producing high-quality maize and grass silage is a critical part of the farm’s production because it ensures the cows get plenty of digestible energy. Computer software enables the team to cleverly tailor recipes to suit each herd.
In awarding the Regional Supreme Award, the judges commended the fifth-generation farming family’s resilience and commitment to honouring their legacy, and their passion for progressive dairy systems. The Singhs continually modify their farm system to ensure sustainability over the long term.
The judges also noted that staff wellbeing is a clear priority and focus, with long tenure being testament to an excellent workplace culture.
Reflecting on their move from pasture to free-stall barn farming and the business model they now operate, the Singhs stress that it is not just about the animals, the environment, or their employees. It’s about how all parts of the business connect and complement one another to ensure it is sustainable.
Anjena, Arjun, Amreeta and Daljit Singh also won the following awards:
· Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award
· DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
· Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award
Other Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Award winners include:
Chris Pellow — Pellow’s Produce
· Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
· Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
· Norwood Farming Efficiency Award
Graham and Tess Smith — Miraka Farm
· NZFET Biodiversity Award
· Waikato Regional Council Water Protection Award
Megan and Phil Weir — Stonyford and Harapepe
· Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
· Waikato River Authority Catchment Improvement Award
Tom, Carrie and Luke Andrews – Wholly Cow
· NZFET Innovation Award
The awards also served to showcase three local catchment groups: Western Firth Catchment Group Trust, King Country River Care, and Taupō Lake Care Incorporated, with Taupō Lake Care Incorporated receiving the Waikato Catchment Group Award.
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are run by the NZ Farm Environment Trust and champion sustainable farming and growing. The Supreme Winner from each of the eleven regions involved in the awards will go through to be considered for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy at the Trust’s National Showcase at Te Papa in May. The recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy then become 2023’s National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing.