2023 Finalists: Nick and Alexis Wadworth of Bare Hill Farming – Sheep and Beef
In the rolling hill country of the Otapiri Gorge, Nick and Alexis Wadworth are making a name for themselves as they strive to improve Bare Hill Farming’s efficiency and productivity.
This has resulted in them being heavily involved in their community, catchment and discussion groups, and in trials that test new farming methods.
Bare Hill Farm spans 2,000ha (800ha effective), with the couple running 7,900 sheep and beef stock units alongside a small amount of forestry.
There’s been steady change at Bare Hill Farming as the couple strives to improve both efficiency and productivity. They are transitioning from Romdale to Wiltshire sheep to try and reduce costs without impacting wool quality.
Nick and Alexis are trialing various methods to establish crops – aiming to reduce reliance on chemicals and improve soil health. They’re also in the early stages of managing and protecting existing native bush areas.
Every decision is backed with research that considers science, along with economic and environmental impacts. The Wadworths are trialing mixed-species crops and have become trusted sources of this information due to their extensive data collection and monitoring.
They have a sophisticated rubbish recycling programme that includes removing the contents of an old dump site, recycling farm and household rubbish, and not burying any waste.
A major achievement has been using Nick’s engineering qualifications to design of a new set of cattleyards, and to develop their own water scheme so all paddocks now have reticulated water.
Nick and Alexis are keen to share their farming knowledge with others – and this has extended to daughter Addison who is now the sixth generation of their family to work on the farm.
Together, they are working toward a business model that is simple yet flexible enough to create opportunities – regardless of what each season throws at them.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards