Business Rural North Autumn 2022

30 | Highlander ewes tick boxes for Scott The farm has a 60:40 sheep to cattle ratio and for the last two seasons has been impacted by drought. Sue Russell Scott and Robyn Gower own and run High Glades Farm. They have grown the farm from its original 600 ha footprint to 1300 ha as their business grew. The farm also winters 300 calving cows and each year Scott buys bulls from Waigroup’s Glanworth Stud, run by Joe, Shaun and Fiona Fouhy. “We choose Glanworth Stud because their stud is attached to a high performing farm and their Angus are not a great big animal. Their cattle have to work hard and handle the conditions and we want progeny who will do the same.” Helping Scott on a daily basis on the farm is one full-time shepherd. Robyn works part-time off-farm. “We take all our angus calves through one winter. The top two-third are sold in the following autumn and I carry the rest through another winter then kill them as 2 ½ year old steers.” The farm has a 60:40 sheep to cattle ratio and for the last two seasons has been impacted by drought. On a separate block all the weaners spend their rst winter then they are pushed out on to the hills. Cows run all over the farm. When it is time for mating, 5000 ewes go to the ram with lambing percentages averaging between 150-160%. About 60% go to the terminal ram and most of the lambs produced are sold prime or store, while the maternal lambs are weaned. In the new year male lambs are killed. “When lambing is underway it is actually the quietest time of the year for us.” Devoting time on the Board of Beef + Lamb NZ is a priority for Scott, who was elected in April 2019, representing the Western North Island ward. He’s passionate about putting out there to the world and in promoting locally all the merits and values attached to pastoral based farming. “When you consider that the majority of beef in the world is produced on farms where the animals live nothing like the life they do here; where we have free access to enjoy wonderful pasture in a natural setting, we really are in an enviable position to capture markets, built around quality and all the elements that go into making our beef the best in the world.” Scott is also concerned about the fact that New Zealand pastoral farming is threatened, not only through regulation and compliance, impacting its pro tability, but from a concerning decline in available grazing land for animals, given the push these days to use traditional sheep and beef farms to grow trees – carbon farming – to offset green-house gas emissions. “I’m really worried about this trend. I see it as industry off-setting the pollution they produce, through the carbon-credit scheme, by buying up perfectly good grazing land to grow trees.” The common conception among many that the push to grow trees is a good thing is not fully understood in terms of its impact on our food producers. RURAL PEOPLE » Scott Gower “Essentially the government has set up a scheme which enables industry pollution to be transferred out onto farms with the potential to further destroy our rural communities.” Scott believes the only way this, and other important issues bearing down on farmers these days, can be advanced is for farmers to really get behind their industry representative organisations, such as Beef + Lamb, Federated Farmers and DairyNZ. The divide that exists between those living in urban centres and those on farms must be broached and that can only be achieved by these organisations empowering farmers and getting information out to all about what is really happening and the implications long-term for the primary sectors which are this country’s backbone.” The following week, after Rural North spoke with Scott, a timely reminder of the current dilemmas facing farming took place in the form of the Groundswell protests throughout the country. “I think the message is nally getting through that there is only so much that the farmers are prepared to withstand before serious damage is done to our most important sector.”