Shane Janssen of Punawai Farm


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2023 Finalists: Shane Janssen of Punawai Farm – Sheep, Beef and Cropping

For 27 years, farm manager Shane Janssen has been at the helm of Punawai Farm – aiming to strike a balance between environmental awareness and stock management.

The 500ha (470ha effective) Hawke’s Bay property is owned by John and Jay Benton who bought Punawai Farm five years before Shane joined the team.

The Bentons have fully supported Shane over the years as he has implemented their joint vision for the sheep, beef and cropping farm. As well as producing high-quality, high-performing stock, their strategy has included a significant amount of native planting and the development of wetlands.

Punawai Farm runs between 2,500 and 2,800 ewes and replacements, and winters between 200 and 250 cattle, with all stock finished on-farm. In addition, the farm produces between 200 and 250 tonnes of barley each year.

Eighty percent of the property’s income is derived from sheep, with the balance split equally between cattle and cropping.

When it comes to stock management, Shane ensures the animals are well cared for. This includes the development of excellent stock handling facilities and implementing an animal health plan.

Significant time has been put into creating and protecting the property’s biodiversity – creating attractive habitats for native birds and wildlife. Active predator control helps to protect these habitats.

Other sustainability initiatives include monitoring water quality, and soil testing – backed up by careful soil management practices.

Underpinning all work is a solid business plan that guides the management of pastures and animal welfare.

A testament to Shane’s love of the environment is his plan to create an arboretum that will result in the homestead being surrounded by a wide variety of tree species. He’s also connecting with the Tukipo Catchment Care Group as he continues to put in more native plants on the property.

Shane is the winner of the NZFET Biodiversity Award.


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