Kenneth and Rachel Short of Shortland Farm


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2022 Finalists: Kenneth and Rachel Short of Shortland Farm – Dairy

The Opunake couple behind this self-contained certified organic dairy farm thrive on working with nature to produce a high-quality product.

Kenneth and Rachel Short entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards entrants as a way of reviewing their farming operation and getting constructive feedback.

The 180ha property is used to grow all the feed for its 400 certified organic jersey cows and young stock.

The couple follows the simple mantra that healthy soils lead to healthy animals, ultimately meaning healthy produce and people. They have pulled in the expertise of a biological soil consultant and practice a range of regenerative agriculture principles.

In addition, numerous sustainability initiatives have been implemented or are in progress on the farm, with the Shorts making great strides in terms of waste minimisation and pasture management.

They’re excited about continuing their journey to sow multi-species pastures, with the ultimate aim of getting the whole property to look like a ‘salad bowl’. Hedge rows have been planted that will become shelter, fodder and boundary buffer zones.

While Rachel and Kenneth have been operating Shortland Farm since 2005, Rachel’s connection to this particular slice of land is a lot longer and it would be fair to say farming is in her blood.

The couple are in equity partnership with Rachel’s parents who bought the farm from family members plus added neighbouring land. It makes Rachel the fourth generation of her family to take the reins of Shortland Farm, following a life immersed in a family passionate about dairying.

The Shorts are proud to be operating a highly profitable, holistic farm that produces a high-quality specialty product while prioritising the environment, animals and people.

As they look forward, both Rachel and Kenneth feel genuinely responsible for continuously future-proofing farming techniques to protect the land for generations to come.

Kenneth and Rachel are the winners of Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award, DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award and WaterForce Wise with Water Award.

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