2023 Finalists: Megan and Phil Weir of Stonyford and Harapepe – Arable, Sheep & Beef finishing
Stonyford and Harapepe farms have been in Megan Weir’s family since 1953 and she is now working with husband Phil to continue their sustainable development.
The Weirs bought Harapepe in 2017 and leased Stonyford in the same year – combining them into a 256ha (230ha effective) beef and sheep finishing, and arable operation.
Protecting the environment is a priority, and the couple is grateful to be building on the back of the strong environmental stewardship of previous owners. Significant plantings were made by Megan’s parents Alan and Janet Livingston who previously owned Stonyford, along with the former owner of Harapepe, Guy Livingston.
Megan and Phil are in their first year of not having any dairy heifers at the properties. They’ve replaced those cattle with maize for silage and Friesian bulls to – reduce labour and gain optimal stocking rates and feed production.
Paddock sizes have been significantly reduced, while gullies and steeper areas are used for sheep grazing or have been planted in native trees.
More than 40,000 native plants have been put in over the past five years, including about 12,000 in 2022. About 12 percent of the farm has now been retired.
With a lot of hard work and strategic planning, it has become easier for the Weirs to manage their beautiful property creating more time to invest with their young family, environmental improvements and off-farm work.
As they look to the future, they’re focused on diversification opportunities including horticulture. With a succession process now complete, they’re committed to setting up a business that presents options for the next generation.
For the Weirs, Stonyford and Harapepe represent family, passion and opportunity. They enjoy protecting and enhancing the land which they refer to as their own piece of nature.
Megan and Phil are the winners of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award and Waikato River Authority Catchment Improvement Award.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards