Telling the stories of our farmers

Telling the stories of our farmers


Telling farmers stories showcases stewardship of the hill country

Hill country farmers play an integral role as producers of high-quality food and stewards of our iconic hill country landscapes. It is important that we don’t lose sight of this.

One way to value hill country farmers is to celebrate those who are demonstrating continual improvement for the environment, livestock, and communities.

Hill Country Futures was an opportunity to share the story of hill country farmers with New Zealand society and the rest of the world.

To do this a series of farmer stories were created for a mainstream media audience that highlighted the positive social and/or environmental outcomes that are happening on-farm.

These farmers were not only willing to tell us their story, they were also involved in the research that was happening as part of the Hill Country Futures programme.

37 articles were published in rural media in total, including Country Wide, Rural news, Wairarapa Times, Stuff, Farmers Weekly and North Canterbury News.

Through these stories, the programme was able to showcase several hill country farmers, including:

  • Matt Iremonger – general manager of Willesden Farm on the Banks Peninsula — who has increased production efficiencies and reduced nitrogen use by growing lucerne.
  • Trevor Johnson — owner of Paparata Station – who has made changes to their farming system based on sustainability. 
  • John Chapman showed the importance of on-farm pasture measurements to change his summer safe high country farm system.

Read their stories and others on the Hill Country Futures webpage here.

A big thank you to Katherine Dixon (Nature Positive) and Ange McFetridge (B+LNZ) for taking the lead on this project for New Zealand’s
sheep and beef farming community. Special thanks to the farmers who actively supported this work.


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