Business Rural Winter 2022

34 | MEAT & WOOL » Sam & Liz Barton Russell Fredric Unusal set-up proves successful business model B Flock ewes on the move at Montana Pastoral. Sam, Harriet, Angus and Liz in front of their 2ths prior to administering second campyvax. One of the new reticulated water schemes An unconventional company structure for a West Otago sheep and beef farm has proven a great business model for the two couples involved. In 2016 Sam and Liz Barton and Phil and Jenny McGimpsey created an equity partnership, Montana Pastoral, which owns 553 hectares at Moa Flat, West Otago. Sam and Liz live and work on the farm while Phil, a Stewart Island ferry skipper, and Jenny who works for Beef and Lamb New Zealand, are based in Alexandra. As a result of restructuring the partnership, in July last year Sam and Liz took on the lease of the farm in addition to ownership of 20% of the land and buildings, plus full ownership of its livestock. “As things are evolving, we are starting to increase our equity and move forward; we have aspirations of growing further into the business, however these structural changes are a board decision.” The company structure is quite unique for a sheep and beef operation, although it has similarities to an equity partnership common in the dairy industry, he says. “It was an advantage to shareholders that the company was not nancially crippled by having to service signi cant amounts of debt and this enabled us to produce some decent pro ts. “As a result, this offered the opportunity to shareholders to receive a dividend and all parties were happy with their return from investment and allowed us to come in at entry level.” “Now, as we are getting bigger it’s evolving quite nicely.”Phil and Jenny bring valuable expertise regarding water resources, carbon dioxide emissions, and making prudent decisions around expenditure and return on investment.“That knowledge they’ve got there is incredible.” Sam and Liz have two children, Angus, 5 and Harriet, 2. Having come from a farming background, Liz is a very capable at managing it or pitching in as needed. Of the 553 hectares, 330 is cultivated with the balance comprising hill country or gullies. It supports 3250 Romdale breeding ewes, 850 hoggets, 40 rams and 75 Angus, Angus/Hereford breeding cows. The farm was carrying Romneys when Sam and Liz rst arrived, but after ve years they decided to change back to the “highly productive” Hazedale Perendales whose stud neighbours the farm. “The Perendale gives us hybrid vigour and very strong genetic growth traits from the Hazeldale, so that’s our choice for now and we will stick to that for at least ve to seven years.” The cattle policy to sell calves as weaners reduces their environmental impact by not having to winter them as well as being a pasture mangement tool. This policy points to the couple’s wider investment in environmental responsibility. They were the 2020 sheep and beef nalists in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The award judges commented that their meticulous approach to farm management has also led to strong production, excellent stock and pasture performance, and impressive environmental practices. Sam says the shade and shelter planted in most paddocks is the continuation of a legacy started by the original owners, the McKay family. Water is also a strong focus, in both its protection and supply through fencing, culverts, creating dry waterway crossings and developing a large water schemes to eliminate dependence on natural water supply. Three kilometres of reticulated water has been installed to date. Montana Pastoral have four kilometres left to do over two years which will provide troughs in every paddock. Plus: • Romdales • Texel Perendales 027 448 8239 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THE SHEARING INDUSTRY