Rocks Station, owned and operated by passionate sheep and beef farmers Andrew and Lynnore Templeton, was announced the Regional Supreme Winner at this evening’s 2019 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards champion sustainable farming and growing through an awards programme which sees one Regional Supreme Winner selected from each of the 11 regions involved. These Regional Supreme Winners will be profiled at the Awards’ National Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton, on Thursday 6 June, with each in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy.
The Templetons are the Regional Supreme Winner thanks to their impressive operation. Thriving against a challenging environmental backdrop, The Rocks Station has excelled thanks to the use of good genetics and innovative breeding with a productive and profitable sheep flock of Merinos and half breeds. The judges noted the excellent condition of the stock.
Andrew has a strong passion for wool and this is a key component in their sheep breeding efforts, with impressive returns, including 40,000kg in annual wool production. The Templetons have established breeding policies to introduce specific genes – Inverdale and GDF9 – and maintain hybrid vigour. Through diversification of stock classes, they have increased income.
Over 15 years, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to improve the business including 150ha of irrigation, 100ha of reseeding and 40kms of fencing, some of which has been introduced to exclude stock from most of the Taieri River. The judges commended a solid recording system for nutrient management.
The Templetons are starting to look at ways to enhance/plant biodiversity on-farm. The judges noted a good use of break crops to eliminate weeds and that the couple made a judicious decision about selecting the appropriate pasture species for the climate and area.
A comprehensive animal health plan is in action and Lynnore contributes her comprehensive knowledge on animal health and parasitology from previous work experience.
The Rocks Station is resourcefully harnessing what the sun has to offer with the use of an electronic solar panel system on the woolshed. This supplements the farmhouse and woolshed electricity.
The judges said of the ambitious enterprise: “The Templetons are well on their way to being a financially and environmentally sustainable world-class farming business.”
The Templetons said of their foray into the Awards: “We have worked very hard to get the farm up and running. Now we want to focus on the environmental aspects more. By entering the awards, we are able to get the help and direction we need to make good decisions and implement the right things.”
This year, The Rocks Station is the esteemed recipient of not only the Supreme Regional Award but also the:
Massey University Innovation Award – this recognises the farmer or grower that demonstrated Kiwi ingenuity for solving a problem or pursuing a new opportunity.
Norwood Agri-Business Management Award – for farmers accomplishing the important management practices of operating a successful farm business.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award – recognises the livestock farmer who demonstrates the need for long-term land and animal stewardship.
Each year, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards’ ceremonies, the National Sustainability Showcase, and winners’ field days offer a unique, pan-sector forum for networking and the sharing of ideas and information among farming/growers peers, agribusiness professionals and the wider community.