2023 Finalists: Paul and Sarah Williams of Turihaua Station – Stud Angus Cattle
Fifth-generation farmers Paul and Sarah Williams are combining their strengths to ensure Turihaua Station remains at the heart of their family for generations to come.
Turihaua Station has been in the Williams family since 1897, and its successful Angus stud is the oldest of its kind in Australasia. Spanning 1,066ha (961ha effective), the business is comprised of sheep breeding and lamb finishing, along with the stud.
The land and livestock were purchased by Paul and Sarah in 2022 from Paul’s parents Hamish and Angela who handed down a thriving stud, beautifully conserved land and a successful biological farming system.
Sarah and Paul’s overarching philosophy is that putting the environment first is critical, and that prosperity is built on healthy soil.
The Angus stud provides high-quality, hill country sire bulls for commercial beef farmers. There’s a strong focus on genetics – with selection ultimately reducing animal health and labour costs.
To help reduce costs and inputs, their biological farming approach means they have thriving soil and diversity in their pastures with no chemical fertiliser inputs.
Since 2016, 26,000 native trees have been planted, including along the 4km length of Turihaua Stream and on water reservoirs – significantly improving biodiversity.
A major issue in the area is erosion, so the Williams have implemented a rigorous poplar and willow planting programme since the 1970s. Both biosecurity risks, and health and safety are at the forefront of daily operations.
Sarah and Paul are helping to lead the newly formed Whangara Community Catchment Group which takes a regional approach to environmental restoration. This stems from their recognition that restoring just the lower portion of the Turihaua Stream and carrying out pest control in isolation was not effective.
Paul and Sarah have applied their zoology and hydrology backgrounds to the land and aim to continue enhancing the Turihaua environment for future generations.
Paul and Sarah are the winners of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award and East Coast Farming for the Future Award.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards