Thursday, 20 November 2014 10:02

Pig farm is tops down South

Written by 
Steve and Josie Sterne with their daughter Holly. Steve and Josie Sterne with their daughter Holly.

NORTH CANTERBURY-BASED Patoa Farms Ltd has won the Lincoln University Foundation's South Island Farmer of the Year competition for 2014.

 The large-scale free-farmed pig breeding and finishing operation at Hawarden was one of four high calibre entrants vying for the top prize of a $20,000 travel grant for business study.

According to Foundation chief judge Nicky Hyslop the judges were impressed with the farm's robust technical production system at all levels including the sows, despite being outside.

The farm, which is managed by Steve and Josie Sterne, with daughter Holly Sterne, has 3,500 breeding sows and sells 115,000 fat pigs annually. It employs 43 staff and has a $25 million annual turnover.

"When I went farming at the age of 39 I did not expect to be standing in front of an audience like this today. The dream is possible. You should not be deterred by the huge effort of amassing enough capital to go farming. I started with three pigs in a woodshed . . . they keep multiplying," says Steve Sterne on receiving the award.

Patoa Farms also picked up the BNZ award for Human Resource Management and the Farmlands Cooperative Prize for Resource Use Efficiency.

Runners up for the South Island Farmer of the Year were Robin and Lois Greer, who operate both a conventional and an organic dairy farm on adjoining properties (120ha organically farmed, 160ha conventionally farmed) at Tuturau, Southland. Their business includes the production on site of their own brand, Retro Organics, of organic dairy products including yogurts and cheeses.

Hyslop says that the operation of the on-farm factory, and the Greer's strong focus on added value from the production system to market, were outstanding aspects of this business. Judges also praised high levels of innovation in the business, especially in terms of developing new products.

Other winners on the night were; Zino Holdings Ltd, who was awarded the Silver Fern Farms 'Plate to Pasture' award for their sheep, deer and beef cattle farm, and Barry and Julie Crawford who took home the Lincoln University prize for Technology and Innovation for their sheep farm.

 

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Uni merger idea dead

Any suggestion of a merger between Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury is now dead in the water following the Minister of Education’s rejection of a partnership proposal by the two institutions.

ClearTech shows great promise

New research points to more advantages to the ClearTech dairy effluent treatment system being developed by Lincoln University and Ravensdown.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

A big future ahead

Age hasn't been a barrier for young vegetable grower of the year Austin Singh Purewal.

 

Sheep and beef doing its bit

No increase in stock numbers in the sheep and beef sector is anticipated as the industry moves towards carbon neutrality, says Beef + Lamb NZ head of nutrition Fiona Windle.

Fonterra lifts milk price

Good news for Fonterra farmers – the co-op is increasing its 2019-20 forecast farmgate milk price by 30c/kgMS.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…

 

» Connect with Rural News