Central Hawke's Bay farmers Grant and Sally Charteris were recently named the winners of the 2021 Elworthy Award.
The award was presented at the Deer Industry Conference in Invercargill earlier this month.
Lead judge, Janet Gregory, says the eight entrants in the deer environmental awards had many things in common: active farm environment and business plans, and involvement in the deer industry’s productivity and environmental activities.
“All are leaders in the industry, show great passion and stewardship of the land, and are supporting their local communities. Many of them have calculated their greenhouse gas emissions or are planning to do so,” Gregory says.
She says all entrants were of exceptional standards, separated in the competition by a narrow margin.
“But the Charterises were notable for their meticulous planning, documentation and analysis. This informs their stock and feed management in their district’s challenging climate.”
Forest Road Farm is a 327-hectare red deer stud and velvet operation, which also runs beef cattle and Wiltshire sheep.
“It’s a great example of a sustainable farming business where the environment is being progressively protected and enhanced, with gullies and streambanks fenced off and planted in trees to reduce soil erosion and to minimise sediment run-off,” Gregory says.
The couple have planted more than 15,000 native trees over the past three years on the 327-hectare rolling to steep hill country property. More tree planting is planned.
As well as winning the Elworthy Environmental Award, the couple won a further new category award – the Dr Gyong Jai Lee Award for ‘leading, environmentally sustainable, velvet farming’.