Sue Meszaros and Karyn Maddren of Streamland Suffolks


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2023 Finalists: Sue Meszaros and Karyn Maddren of Streamland Suffolks – Sheep (Stud)

Striving for sustainable, continual improvement means the two women behind Streamland Suffolks are on a journey of discovery when it comes land, animals and the environment.

Owner-operators Susan Meszaros and Karyn Maddren jointly manage the 68ha (50 ha effective)
property that is home to their sheep stud business. Since 2006, they’ve been applying a deep knowledge of genetics to breed their Suffolk sheep – selling Suffolk rams and ewes to commercial and lifestyle buyers alike.

Breeding is focused on specific traits, such as those that are important to a terminal sire breed – such as growth and muscling. They also focus on traits that appeal to lifestylers, such as having a good temperament, being easy to lamb and having excellent lamb survival rates.

They achieve this through the use of objective measurement, DNA testing, and close observation of maternal traits at lambing. Ewes are single-sire mated and every lamb born is tagged and weighed at birth with all data recorded. Rams are DNA tested for foot rot resistance and cold tolerance and strict performance measures are applied for all rams used within the flock.

Great animal husbandry combines with innovative farming practices to deliver a positive environmental impact – both on-farm and within the wider community.

Susan and Karyn have successfully planted their first multi-species cover crop and actively fence waterways. Pests are controlled and pastures are carefully managed, with cattle removed from the operation to specifically benefit the farm environment.

They are constantly fine-tuning approaches to accelerate any improvements. In addition, they enjoy sharing the property and experiences with the wider community, and extended family who share the property.

Karyn and Susan’s lives as a whole are guided by sustainable principles. They have an excellent awareness of their carbon footprint and are adapting the farm in response to climate change. They regularly calculate their carbon footprint and have taken numerous steps to off-set it. This includes sequestering carbon through planting, using innovative building materials for a new, off-grid house, and using solar to generate electricity.

Sue and Karyn are the winners of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award, NZFET Biodiversity Award and Auckland Council Water Quality Enhancement Award.

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