Duncan and Caroline Kirk of Mahana Farm


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2024 East Coast Finalist: Duncan and Caroline Kirk Farm of Mahana Farm – Sheep and Beef

The third-generation farmers behind Mahana Farm are aiming for a balance of high production and creating an environment that can be enjoyed by their family.  
Caroline and Duncan Kirk own 195ha of the 642ha (580ha effective) property, with the remainder leased from neighbours.  
Since taking over the property, they have scaled up the business significantly. Today it’s predominantly a finishing sheep and beef business, supported with dairy grazing. They’re also developing a small block of oak and hazelnut trees. 
They’ve developed a flexible stocking policy to help mitigate against challenges such as droughts and extreme weather conditions. This combines with a focus on being agile, so they can take advantage of markets and make quick decisions. 
The judges said the strong farming partnership comprehensively covered practical, technical, and business management aspects. They were impressed with the farm’s monitoring systems, efficient use of water and grazing management. 
There’s a strong focus on creating quality pasture that is tailored to suit the land class. Many pastures have been renovated to match soil type – resulting in maximum production. 
Animal health management is another priority, with the farm featuring extensive shade and shelter for stock.  
Caroline and Duncan are building on a long-term commitment to protecting and enhancing the native biodiversity of the property which features a large QEII National Trust Covenant block and a 3.6ha restored wetland. The judges were impressed with the steps they’ve taken to protect and enhance wetlands and native bush remnants. This includes fencing off 35ha of regenerating native bush, plus the fencing and planting of all the property’s waterways.  
Overall, Duncan and Caroline are ensuring the business is profitable while also creating an enjoyable environment that is thriving with biodiversity.

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