Tony Gane, Peter & Carol Gane, Charlie & Anna Smith of Gane and Sons


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2023 Finalists: Tony Gane, Peter & Carol Gane, Charlie & Anna Smith of Gane and Sons – Sheep, Beef and Dairy Support

The Gane family is incredibly proud of their farming history that started with a 60ha block bought in 1919 – growing to today’s 430ha sheep and beef farm.

In partnership, Peter, Carole and Tony Gane now farm the 410ha effective property that has gradually grown over the years from their grandmother’s original land purchase.

The family entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a way of sharing the improvements they have made, while also creating an opportunity to learn from other entrants. These motivations align with their approach which is to continually explore new ideas and keep improving.

The tidy Taranaki farm has excellent working facilities and machinery, along with healthy livestock. 90% of the farm’s income is split equally between sheep and beef, with a further 10% coming from dairy grazers.

One of the family’s biggest sustainability initiatives was taking part in a three-year trial of fine particle fertiliser. As a result of the trial, the Ganes have a good understanding of the farm’s fertiliser needs and can tailor application rates to different soil types.

Gane and Sons are developing two new water ponds with the help of a Fish & Game New Zealand grant, while planning is underway to create stock exclusion zones around waterways.

Work is underway to fence streams and drains and the team is continuing to add more water reticulation in paddocks.

Infrastructure investments include constructing a modern, covered sheep yards that features dust suppression sprinklers.

Biodiversity is being enhanced, with the active control of possums, ferrets and stoats. In addition, there’s a strong focus on thistle control across the farm.

As well as carefully managing day-to-day farming projects, this family-focused partnership always keeps one eye on the future. Through succession planning, they want to ensure a successful farm is handed onto the next generation.

Tony , Peter, Carol, Charlie & Anna are the winners of the NZFET Innovation Award.


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