Jo & Lachie McKenzie of Table Top Station


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2022 Finalists: Jo & Lachie McKenzie of Table Top Station – Sheep and Beef

Wool is definitely cool at this large South Canterbury high country station which has been in the McKenzie family for 130 years and counting.

Located near Kurow in the Hakataramea Valley, the 2,500ha farm is vast and challenging. Since 1892, the McKenzie family has risen to its challenges and today continue to farm sustainably while maintaining high-quality stock and meeting regulatory standards.

Jo and Lachie McKenzie started managing the farm four years before taking it over from Lachie’s parents in 2021.

They entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because they were curious to find out more about the process and to potentially learn from others.

The pillar of their business is ultra-fine wool, taken from 5,000 merino sheep that produced more than 20,000kg of wool in 2020. Sheep are grazed across the whole station and, to bolster income, terminal and merino wether lambs are sold. Meanwhile, Angus cattle are grazed across about 1,800ha of hill country, with any calves weaned and sold.

The McKenzies are focused on reducing the property’s environmental impact, continuing regenerative farming, and are implementing numerous sustainability initiatives. They’ve had particular success when it comes to the management of soil and predator control and have developed an Extreme Weather Management Plan.

Careful business planning includes the development of biosecurity and animal health plans and trialling new initiatives to improve animal welfare. Looking to the future, Jo and Lachie want to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions and constantly improve the management of water.

As they strive to produce the best product they can, with the least environmental impact, their ultimate goal is to leave the farm in a better state for future generations.


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