Andrew & Peter Gilchrist of Gilchrist Brothers


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2024 Canterbury Finalists: Andrew & Peter Gilchrist of Gilchrist Brothers – Mixed Cropping, Dairy Support & Contracting

A diversity of income streams is driving success for the Gilchrist brothers, largely due to a focus on people and the continued fine-tuning of the business. 
In 2005, Andrew and Peter Gilchrist bought a one-man spraying business and, today, they employ seven people who spray a range of agrichemicals and liquid fertiliser across the Waimakariri District. 
As well as providing agricultural spraying services, the business features a workshop that manufactures and services high-precision spray trucks. 
With a support team of two administrators, and three people running the mixed cropping and dairy support 430ha farm, it’s no surprise that there’s a sharp focus on creating a supportive team culture. 
Continual learning, and developing positive long-term relationships are driving the ongoing sustainability of this business. It derives 40% of its income from spraying, 40% from the farm, and the balance from the workshop. 
On the farm, they graze 800 heifers and grow crops across the remaining land. The Gilchrist brothers have also fulfilled a long-term dream by constructing a 7.5ha storage pond known as Lake Chapman. Over recent years, there’s been an increasing focus on planting riparian borders with native trees.  
Precision technology is used on-farm to guide decisionmaking and improve efficiency. Ultimately, it’s leading to increased productivity, while also reducing the workload. That precision technology is a critical element of the three to four spray trucks the team manufactures in the workshop each year. 
The judges were impressed with the team’s focus on health and safety, the amount of data that’s collated, and the business’s recycling system.  
With an approach that’s centred around looking after its people and continual fine-tuning, Gilchrist Brothers is a great asset to the local community.

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