Ben and Libby Tosswill of Birch Hill Station


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2024 East Coast Finalists: Ben and Libby Tosswill of Birch Hill Station – Sheep and Beef

Enriching land and people is the ethos guiding the owners of Birch Hill Station as they strive toward producing sustainable food while enhancing the natural environment.  
Carrying on a family legacy, Ben and Libby Tosswill are genuinely committed to the people who work with them. Ultimately, they want their employees to see the farm as theirs too – and make their own positive impact to improve it for the future.   
Ben’s parents bought the station in 1975, and he and Libby started farming it in 2010 when they purchased its stock and plant. Twelve years later, they took over ownership. Throughout, they have focussed on adapting to meet shifting consumer preferences toward sustainable, ethical meat and fibre. 
Across the 1,300ha (720ha effective) property, farming practices are carefully tailored to achieve goals around profits, diversification, and enhancing both land and people. 
The farming operation includes sheep breeding and finishing, complemented by beef breeding and finishing, with a flexible heifer trading component. Additional income is derived from forestry and a luxury glamping business. 
By trying new things and closely measuring results, Libby and Ben are working toward an optimum stock policy and sheep flock that will consistently hit production targets. 
The judges were impressed with their excellent understanding of water quality. Significant work has gone into protecting waterways and wetlands, with this backed up by regular water monitoring.  
Building on a legacy of environmental work, they have protected a further 23ha of native bush with a QEII National Trust Covenant and are restoring two wetlands. Ultimately it means their business operates against a backdrop of native trees that provide shelter for stock and habitats for native species, including a colony of critically endangered native long tail bats. 
With an approach that centres around protecting the natural ecosystem, this couple’s approach looks set to enable both business and environment to flourish into the future. 

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