George and Ellen Bartlett of Gemel Trust 


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2022 Finalists: George and Ellen Bartlett of Gemel Trust – Dairy, Sheep and Beef

Since 2005, George and Ellen Bartlett have been on a sustainability journey at their Manawatu farm – and their efforts are paying off.

Both environmental and financial sustainability has been their focus at the dairy, sheep and beef farm. They bring more than 30 years of farming expertise to the table and are striving to create a property their family and community can be proud of.

Dairy is the pillar of Stanway Farm, although it has been developed to include sheep and beef. Across 510ha, they now farm about 1,000 dairy cows that in 2020 produced 480,000kg of milk solids. In addition, they fattened 2,000 lambs and 200 beef cattle.

The Bartletts have a 50/50 sharemilker to help them manage the dairy unit. With the help of a great team, they do all their own cropping and harvesting across the property, producing grass silage for the cows.

Significant investment in infrastructure is mitigating pasture damage and helping to improve animal welfare.

Plenty of sustainability initiatives are underway on the property, including planting native trees and fencing off waterways and native bush. They’re lowering their environmental impact through reducing, reusing and recycling, including various methods to reuse water from the cow shed. As they look to the future, the Bartletts are keen to develop robotic milking and provide more housing for the animals.

The Bartletts entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a way of positively promoting the farming industry and showcasing what’s happening behind the farm gate.

Their children are a big driver for the improvements at Stanway Farm. George and Ellen are focused on enhancing both business and environment so the next generation of their family can successfully farm into the future. 

George and Ellen are the winners of Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award, WaterForce Wise with Water Award and Horizons Regional Council Award for the Integration of Trees. 

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