Regional Supreme Winners 2022: Byron Vollweiler and Amanda Snow of Berriedale Farm – Lamb, Lumber and Carbon
This family farm is an excellent example of how pastoral farming can be integrated with forestry production, resulting in a balanced, sustainable and profitable business.
The Vollweiler family has owned Berriedale Farm since 1953, during which time it has more than doubled in size to 1,100ha. Today, under the guidance of Byron Vollweiler and Amanda Snow, sheep graze across 800ha, while 200ha is planted in productive trees and a further 100ha is regenerating native bush and wetland.
The family puts their success down to a focus on good stock husbandry. They run a high-performance Romney flock and derive 80% of income from the lambs, while the balance comes from forestry.
Tree planting has been carefully matched to soil type to ensure they’re getting the best from the land. As well as forestry production, the trees generate social and economic value through carbon sequestration. They also provide stock shelter and reduce erosion.
Soil conservation and management is a strong focus at Berrievale which is progressively moving toward a no-till approach, while planting sensitive, erosion-prone areas in ornamental and productive forestry.
They’re successfully experimenting with a mixed-species winter crop and plan to expand this to partially replace the traditional monoculture swede crop.
There’s been a long-term commitment to conservation at Berriedale, and Byron and Amanda are continually striving to enhance the natural environment. Today this is evident in the areas protected by QEII National Trust covenants, and the extensive fencing and riparian planting of waterways.
Being both an inter-generational home and the family’s livelihood means that Berrievale Farm is engrained in the Vollweiler’s life. They appreciate the financial security it gives them and make sure they take time to enjoy plenty of activities outside the farm gate.
As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, Byron and Amanda also received the:
Balance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
Otago Regional Council Quality Water Enhancement Award
NZFFA Otago Farm Forestry Award
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards