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Top Dairy Operation Wins Supreme Title

Top Dairy Operation Wins Supreme Title In 2016 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards

A well-managed dairy and forestry farm owned by Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) is the Supreme winner of the 2016 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The award was presented to PKW Farms LP, farm manager Matt Kelbrick and farm supervisor Roger Landers at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on March 31 (2016). The team behind PKW’s No.2 Farm in the Ohangai district also collected the Massey University Innovation Award and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award.

PKW is a Taranaki-based Maori Incorporation that owns 20,000ha of dairy land and a range of other business interests, including crayfishing, forestry and commercial property.

BFEA judges said PKW clearly takes “immense pride and passion” in its business.

Situated east of Hawera, PKW’s No.2 Farm is a 159ha property milking 325 cows on a 100ha milking platform, with 30ha of pines established in gullies and on steeper contour.

Matt Kelbrick was employed as manager in 2014, with Kaponga farmer Roger Landers also coming on board as PKW Dairy Farm Supervisor. That year the farm was subject to a major development project that included the construction of a new effluent system and a 60-bale rotary farm dairy.

BFEA judges said this well-planned upgrade combined with Roger and Matt’s management has helped the farm achieve almost 32,000kgMS of extra production with just five more cows.

This season the farm is targeting 140,000 kgMS from a System 3 regime. Its excellent infrastructure allows for future expansion and growth of production, judges said, and the “outstanding use of new technologies” ensures long term sustainability.

“The inclusion of an in-shed feeding system and brilliant management has seen production increase dramatically. The foundation is set for this property to keep pushing for greater things and maintain a great level of production.”

Biodiversity considerations on the farm reflect PKW’s long-term view of land guardianship. All waterways are fenced, and small areas of the farm are being retired and planted with natives.

Judges said the passion shown by Matt for this farm and for agriculture in general was “inspirational”.

They also praised the exceptional working relationship between Roger and Matt.

“Matt and Roger have a fantastic relationship where they are not afraid to challenge one another to strive for excellence. Matt’s passion for the farm and animals is infectious and this alone motivates others around him to meet goals and targets. They have a close working relationship with the wider PKW group and strive to be the best in what they do.”

A BFEA Supreme-winner field day will be held on PKW Farms LP No.2 Farm, with the date to be advised.

Winners in the 2016 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards were:

Supreme award, Massey University Innovation Award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award; PKW Farms LP (Farm 2), Matt Kelbrick and Roger Landers, Ohangai.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award; PKW Farms LP (Farm 13) and Levi Scown, Pihama.

Hill Laboratories Harvest Award; Damian and Jane Roper, Daniel and Michelle Payton, Alton.

LIC Dairy Farm Award, PGG Wrightson People in Agriculture Award, CB Norwood Distributors Agri-Business Management Award; Shortland Farms Limited Partnership, Opunake.

Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, Taranaki Regional Council Sustainability Award; John and Elaine Sanderson, Otakeho.

ENDS

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