Roger and Caly White of Cheviot Hills


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2024 East Coast Finalists: Roger and Caly White of Cheviot Hills – Sheep and Beef

At Cheviot Hills, the Whites are focused on developing a low-input sheep and beef business that balances profit with the health of the environment and people. 
Third-generation farmers Roger and Caly White have been farming the 548ha (526 ha effective) property since 1990. There’s an emphasis on breeding, supported by fattening – with 60% of income derived from sheep and the balance coming from beef. 
Using a flexible stocking policy, they have a low-input, grass-only approach. The judges commended it for being a strong farming operation that works alongside the environment to create healthy and productive stock. 
The sheep flock is highly productive and healthy, partially due to good practices around limited drenching. The judges said Roger thinks outside the box when it comes to trying new breeds of stock and trailing different approaches – for example, running kiwi cross cows which are small in build but good producers of milk. 
There’s a strong focus on managing both soil nutrients and water quality. When it comes to water, the reticulated supply is continually being developed and they’ve started fencing off waterways. 
The judges commended the couple’s long-term commitment to conservation, including the ongoing management of a 5ha block that is protected by a QEII National Trust covenant and features a significant range of native trees. Biodiversity corridors are being created for bird life, while steep gullies have been fenced off for planting.  
The farm does not have a dump, with the couple preferring to recycle as much as they can.  
Cheviot Hills is intertwined into the lives of Caly and Roger, with their personal ambitions and goals reflected through the business. They want to continue maintaining the property’s resources so they and future generations can continue farming there. 

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