2022 Finalist: Victor and Amy Blaikie of Ben Annand – Sheep, Beef and Wool
Over the past 60 years, Ben Annand has been transformed from a bare property where all work was completed on horseback to a farm that boasts impressive modern infrastructure.
Amy and Victor Blaikie are now at the helm of this 1,500ha property that has been farmed by Victor’s family since 1960. Today, sheep and beef are grazed across about two-thirds of Ben Annand, with the rest in native bush and exotic trees.
When Victor’s father Keith started working on the farm, there was one fence and no roads, buildings or amenities. He worked tirelessly to transform bare tussock country into productive pasture, complete with all the necessary infrastructure. This has been continually renewed and maintained, with highlights including a new woolshed, staff housing and the installation this year of a fully reticulated water system.
The farm’s paddocks are planted with a mix of red and white clover, cocksfoot and ryegrasses, while four hill blocks have native tussock and cocksfoot, over-sown with clover. In 2021, the Blaikies ran just over 7,500 stock units, with around 80% of their income from sheep, and the balance coming from the cattle.
Victor and Amy enjoy the challenge of enhancing and developing the business on a property that also provides a great lifestyle for their family. Production has lifted, partially due to enhancing lower-producing blocks and by using a flexible stock policy that is adapted to the climate and external market conditions.
A programme of controlling gorse is paying off, while significant planting, fencing and pest management has resulted in a landscape with rich biodiversity.
As proud owners of this large Clinton property, the Blaikies want to continue farming Ben Annand in the best possible manner so it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Victor and Amy were the winners of the Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
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