Goat Farming Entrepreneurs Take Top Spot At Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards
Mathew and Sarah Bolton have been named 2020 Regional Supreme Winners at the Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards, run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.
The awards champion sustainable farming and growing through a programme which sees one Regional Supreme Winner selected from each of the 11 regions involved. All Regional Supreme Winners are in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy, with the winner of this national award to be announced at a later date.
Over the past six years, the Boltons have established Oete Goat Farm - an exemplar operation that combines profitability with a broadly sustainable approach.
The transformation of the Auckland property has been guided by a dual focus on producing high-quality products while reducing the farm’s environmental impact. A farm manager and nine fulltime staff contribute to the success of this goat farming operation that involves pasture being cut and carried daily to feed 2,500 milking goats.
The judges said people and animal welfare were at the heart of the business and regarded as equally important to business returns. The couple embraces challenges, continually reassessing systems and enhancing biodiversity.
“The staff are fully engaged plus the Boltons have impressive community involvement. There is significant investment in sustainability - both financially and socially - and all those involved in the farming operation should be commended.
“The Boltons had the vision to launch a new business and have mitigated risk to set up a successful, industry-leading enterprise. Their exceptional financial performance and wise use of capital will ensure future growth and diversification of the business.
“This farm business is extremely well managed across all facets.”
The Boltons see their sustainable and eco-friendly farming approach as a way to safeguard the land for both themselves and future generations. Watch their video on YouTube.
As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, they also received the:
- Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award
- Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
- Massey University Innovation Award
- Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
Each year, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards offer unique, pan-sector opportunities for the sharing of ideas and information among grower peers, agribusiness professionals and the wider community.