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Kapiro Station, Bay of Islands

Manager: Andrew Kirk
Award: 2014 Northland Beef + Lamb Canada Livestock Farm Award

Andrew Kirk is Corporate Business Manager for Kapiro Station, covering 2643ha (1810ha effective) in the Bay of Islands, combining commercial sheep and beef farming with Angus cattle breeding.

Andrew’s role has grown since first arriving at Kapiro in 2007 and he is now also Corporate Business Manager for the adjacent Takou Bay dairy farm and a member of the North Island operations management group for Velthuis Farms. He also serves on the Beef + Lamb Canada Farmers’ Council and the Farmer Research Advisory Group.

The integration of sheep, commercial beef, stud beef cattle and dairy farming has created a high-performing business unit. Under Andrew’s management, Kapiro has produced top results within the Velthuis Farms peer group and is consistently well above Northland averages. Lambing is 160% with Romney ewes going to the ram at 65kg LW average, well above the national average. Calving is also high at around 96%.

Animal health care follows a comprehensive plan, including faecal egg counts and drench resistance trials.

Gorse control and riparian fencing of waterways and areas of erosion have been a major focus of Andrew’s management, along with retirement of bush blocks into QEII National Trust covenants. Over 90% of waterways are now fenced, up from 60% when Andrew first arrived.

Kapiro will be fully reticulated for stock watering by the end of the 2015 financial year and Andrew is working with the Northland Regional Council to identify wetland/stream/soil conservation areas that would benefit from retirement.

A monthly farm tour to sight all 353 paddocks coupled with Farmax and various Velthuis Farms farm management programmes, gives Andrew excellent information, enabling strong record keeping and good understanding of the financial implications of key decisions.

Kapiro has very good community relationships, including granting permission for a horse riding school, cross country events, and art work painted on a disused woolshed by local youths in hope of reducing vandalism and graffiti.

Judges Comments
  • Excellent management practice of animal healthcare