Regional Supreme Winners: David & Samantha Turner of The Grange – Sheep, Beef and Dairy Support
David’s great grandfather George Turner bought The Grange in 1880, cleared the land and established it as a successful farm that is now being managed by the family’s fourth generation.
It’s no wonder that the Eltham property has special meaning for them and that they feel privileged to be making daily decisions that aim to continually improve the property.
Twenty years ago, David returned from the UK with his wife Samantha and joined his parents in managing the sheep, beef, and dairy support farm.
Owned by a family trust, about half of the business is comprised of heifer grazing on a weight-gain payment system, with the balance split between sheep and beef.
300 dairy heifers are grazed for 12 months and leave the property in-calf. About 800 Romney ewes are mated to Romney or Polled Dorset rams, with female Romney lambs kept as replacements and the remainder sold prime.
The beef aspect of the business sees weaner calves purchased, farmed for about two years and usually sold prime – providing resilience to the farm.
Several sustainability initiatives are underway at The Grange, including the planting and management of riparian areas, where fencing is used to exclude cattle from many areas of the farm and a comprehensive weed management programme has allowed the riparian planting to flourish. The team has also had good success with the management of soils and matching livestock classes to land carrying capacity as well as pest monitoring and control.
The family is focused on minimising waste, staff welfare and increased biosecurity and putting time into increasing the farm’s biodiversity.
Looking to the future, they’re keen to further improve pasture management, particularly by reducing old grass species.
With the farm’s significant family history, David and Samantha are most proud of being able to involve their children in the day-to-day running of the business and the work they are all doing to ensure its sustainability into the future.
As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, David and Samantha also received:
Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award
Taranaki Regional Council Sustainability Award
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards