Regional Supreme Winners 2022: Geoff & Jo Crawford of Crawford Farms – Dairy and Beef
A great deal of joy has gone into developing this suite of farms to their true potential as financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable dairy and beef farms.
Geoff and Jo Crawford have been dairy farming for 30 years, with Crawford Farms the culmination of their life’s work. People are at the heart of this large-scale operation that encompasses three dairy farms and a 300ha beef unit that have been purchased over time.
Dairy is the main pillar of the business, with the remaining 25% of income derived from beef. The dairy farms span 260ha, with the team milking a total of 1,500 cows and averaging 590,000kg of milk solids annually. Each year, the 700 calves born on the farm are sold as trade cattle, while 20% of the dairy herd is finished.
The farm’s well-fed cows and good-quality beef are a testament to good genetics and pasture management. There’s a strong focus on growing a diverse range of forages, along with the active management of weeds and insect pests.
Environmental sustainability is a cornerstone of the business, with the Crawfords taking a holistic approach that considers the entire farm system and the connections between each component.
Wetlands are in excellent condition, while an historic Māori pa is protected with a QEII National Trust covenant. An innovative soil moisture monitoring programme is in place plus they have a strong commitment to pest and predator control.
Jo and Geoff entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a way of demonstrating how large-scale dairy farms can be both environmentally and financially sustainable.
Attention to detail and making good decisions at the right time has got Crawford Farms to where it is today and the team’s not done yet – they’re already diversifying the business further.
As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, Geoff and Jo also received:
Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
WaterForce Wise with Water Award
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards