2023 Finalists: Jim Burrows and Kim Marshall of Glenlake Farm – Sheep and Beef
Jim Burrows and Kim Marshall bring different skill sets to the table at Glenlake Farm, leaning into their strengths to constantly improve their farming operation.
Since 2018, they have expanded the Waipara sheep and beef farm so it now spans 840ha (795ha effective).
With a background in farming, Jim is experienced with managing stock and focuses on the day-to-day running of the business. Chartered accountant Kim provides part-time support to the farm, taking care of administration, finance and the couple’s two young boys.
In 2022, they wintered about 8,000 stock units, comprised of 4,450 sheep and lambs, and the balance being cows and cattle. Almost 70% of their income is derived from sheep, with 23% coming from beef, 4% from wool and the balance mainly derived from grazing. One of their goals is to increase the capital ewe flock and move away from trading them.
While the couple has owned the farm for a relatively short amount of time, the business is consistently high performing. Farm systems have been designed to mitigate the risk of drought by reducing the amount of stock in early summer and taking advantage of the warm early-spring countryside.
One of their most successful environmental initiatives is the planting of poplars to control erosion, provide shade and shelter, and sequester carbon. The almost exclusive use of direct drilling also helps with carbon sequestration.
Almost 4ha of the property has been planted in native species over the past two winters and there are plans to retire more of the vulnerable areas. The family has established an on-farm native species nursery, with the plants used for riparian borders.
The couple is always looking to learn more and improve their farming systems. Their ultimate aim is to create an inter-generational farm that could potentially provide a great future for their sons.
Jim and Kim are the winners of the Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award.
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