Business Rural North Autumn 2022

| 9 RURAL PEOPLE » Ruru Valley Farm A lifelong association with Highland cattle Photos: Gabrielle of Glen Tannock; Dave and daughter Georgia in the bush cabin; Wiltshire ewes with this years Blackshire cross lambs shedding; Lily of Glen Tannock with QE11 bush in background. Sue Russell Prior to marrying, Sue Cole was a towny. Her introduction to rural life came when she met Dave and the couple settled on a life-style size plot of land at Glenbrook in 1998. “I had grown a fond attachment to Highlander cows and when we married my parents gave me an in-calf cow for our wedding present. That really started my long association with the breed,” Sue explains. And with nursing quali cations she soon become interested in breeding the growing collection of Highland cattle. Sue describes those early days as a steep learning curve. Eventually, with more cows, the breeding programme really stepped up a notch and the timing was perfect, as life-stylers and the tiny-house people wanted an animal on their land that could take care of eating the pasture and be almost like a pet. “The thing is that often these people think they’re just cute and cuddly, but they really need to be fed well to grow well. We got involved in the New Zealand Highland Cattle Society and the breed sort of went through a resurgence. We got quite involved with the breeding and the herd register.” For a period of time Sue had a small business selling the meat at local markets and trucking Highlander Cattle to the works. Her aim was to get them to the works with the least amount of stress. A couple of abattoirs accepted horned cattle to process. “I was encouraging owners to dehorn their cows if they weren’t going to be breeders.” Then in a new shift in their farming journey the couple moved to a new farm in Bombay. It was a prudent decision, given they couldn’t afford a nice nishing block and land was better priced in Bombay. “The land we are now on is not good for heavy animals. Highlander Cattle seem different from other breeds. They are smarter. I know this because we had other breeds as well and when we would take the tractor into the paddock to feed-out, the Highlanders’ would be more interested in escaping through the open gate.” Sue and Dave then decided to introduce a new income stream into their farming business, in the form of Wiltshire Sheep. “Wiltshire are self-shedding and have good feet and again it proved to be a good decision,” Sue re ects. Admittedly, the rst generation Sue says, were a bit ‘manky’ but through breeding a great ock has been established. The couple decided to not remove tails and have never had to deal with ystrike. They also haven’t drenched unless absolutely necessary. “We use apple cider vinegar in troughs for both sheep and cattle.” Wiltshire’s are popular with Lifestylers. They are a meat breed but make for good company and pets. Introducing a Blackshire ram into the mix this year has produced a potpourri of very cute progeny. “We can have a white Mum with two black lambs or one of each.” As for the Highlanders, the couple have downsized the herd, with the exception of the ‘old girls’ who are just pets. “From the original cow, I have the great-greatgrand-daughter who has just had a calf, so it is really nice to go back that far with the breed.” The next chapter came along when the couple were presented with the opportunity to buy 100 acres of QE11 native bush, which they have owned these past three years. The block requires pest-management – including rodents, pigs, deer and gorse. “We like challenges and this block has plenty of these. It’s also provided us with a new set of learning about preserving native ora and fauna. We have built a little ‘hunters’ cabin in the bush, for family and friends to enjoy the special sense of being immersed in native bush.” The couple have engaged others to help with pest eradication measures. Sue says she has learnt a lot and attributes that to her nursing observational skills. To her delight Sue has learnt that the national long-walk ‘Te Araroa’ passes by the front gate. This has prompted another thought, that perhaps those travelling the length of the country, or the part of it where the farm is, could stop by and enjoy a rest in the bush. “I’m going to contact the Te Araroa people and see what’s involved. It just seems like a wonderful coincidence that we are so close to this worldfamous national treasure of a walkway.” Bait its Fate Leading the fight against introduced threats to ensure the protection of New Zealand's precious wildlife. Toxins | Lures | Traps | Bait Stations | Monitoring Tools | Warning Signs Connovation specialises in possums, rodents, stoats, and other pest control products that are eco-friendly and humane. | +64-27-273-4888 | D-Block that bloke! A company owning the important mission of controlling and eradicating New Zealand’s invasive pests is creating meaningful change for landowners who believe in preserving and enhancing this country’s pristine natural environs. Based in East Tamaki, on Sir William Avenue, Connovation is leading the world in the research, development, and manufacture of a whole raft of animal pest technologies. CEO Duncan MacMorran says that protecting our natural resources underpins everything Connovation does. “We put a real focus on research and development and strive to create products that are eco-friendly, humane and practical.” The company specialises in possum and rodent control along with stoat, ferret, weasel, and wallaby control technologies. For land-owners Sue and Dave Cole, from Glen Tannoch Farm in Bombay, the advice and support received from Connovation in choosing pest management technologies is having a huge impact on native bush preservation. The company is involved in R & D, commercialisation, monitoring and control, selling its products to Regional Councils, Department of Conservation, Contractors, land-care groups, and individuals. It has a strong focus on research and development and works with the Department of Conservation, Predator Free NZ , Ospri and Universities to provide a strong scienti ic background to its products. Products are manufactured in New Zealand and designed for New Zealand conditions. Connovation provides advice on the best practice to use these products. “We are about innovation and constant improvement in product and service delivery. Our research has resulted in the registration of new technologies such as Double Tap for the control of possums and rats, Ratabate paste for the control of rodents, D Blocks for the control of rodents and Predastop for the control of stoats and feral cats.” For the very best pest-control technologies and advice on the best way to use these products, landowners need look no further than Connovation. Anjali Barboza, Marketing Specialist, says that the amount of research that goes into every product the company manufactures is very in-depth. “We do a lot of R & D behind each product, and we are working closely with Predator Free 2050, Department of Conservation and Bo a Miskell on a range of exciting projects involving possums, rats and stoats which are currently in trials”, says Anjali. Connovation’s website carries comprehensive information about the company, its products and services and is a must for any person seriously wanting to deal with pests. Creating meaningful change for landowners