Champion farm a family affair

A family affair: The Reeves family from Mokairau Farm at Whangara were yesterday named the 2018 Gisborne-Wairoa hill country farmers of the year. Peter Reeves, who has farmed Mokairau for 40 years, said they were humbled by the accolade and hoped it would inspire young farmers around the district. Mr Reeves and wife Christine are pictured with (from left) son-in-law Nicky Land and sons Sam and Jon. Absent are daughter Sophie Land and sons Richard and Matthew. Picture by Paul Rickard

THE Reeves family from Mokairau Farm at Whangara have won the Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers Hill Country Farmer of the Year award.

The winners in the competition, which is held every two years, were announced yesterday.

“We feel very humbled to win the award and hopefully motivate and inspire young farmers around the district,” said Peter Reeves.

Mokairau Farm comprises 2867 hectares, 2288ha effective, and the Reeves run close to 22,000 stock units — sheep and cattle— including its Hereford cattle stud.

Mr Reeves has farmed Mokairau for more than 40 years, taking over from father David.

The farm has been in the family since 1926.

“A major part of the property’s success is the support I get from my wife Christine and our sons Sam, Jon, Richard and Matthew, daughter Sophie and son-in-law Nicky Land,” said Peter Reeves.

Ten grandchildren are also being nurtured into the Mokairau culture and farming life.

“It’s the involvement of our whole family that we think makes Mokairau the successful operation it is,” said Mr Reeves.

His wife agrees.

“It’s a lovely accolade for our family to get, particularly for Peter, a hard-working and good man. We all enjoy backing him up,” said Mrs Reeves.

“Our strength has always been working together as a family unit but Peter and I have an end date for that.

“Our aim has been to grow the future of the family business and then step back, which we will do at some stage in the next few years.

“Meanwhile, we are privileged to be caretakers of this stunning farm and count it a blessing to call it home.”

The judges toured Mokairau last week.

“I was a bit nervous to have them looking over the place, and wondering what they would think,” said Mr Reeves. “It turns out I need not have been so nervous.”

Head of the judging panel Adrian Brown, the agri-business manager for Rabobank, said the Reeves had shown good stewardship of their land.

“They involve all family members around their decision-making, and have set about achieving their long-term goals. They show good financial discipline and balance a lower cost structure in order to achieve a higher EFS (Economic Farm Surplus).”

Mr Brown said the Reeves also showed a wide community involvement through different organisations.

“They are worthy winners, who strive to achieve.”

Federated Farmers acting provincial president Sandra Faulkner said the award celebrated a hard-working rural family.

“Peter and Christine and their family are continuously looking to improve the performance of their property.

“Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers is always looking to celebrate farming excellence in our own region and the winners are certainly an example of that.”

An open day will be held at Mokairau on May 2.

THE Reeves family from Mokairau Farm at Whangara have won the Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers Hill Country Farmer of the Year award.

The winners in the competition, which is held every two years, were announced yesterday.

“We feel very humbled to win the award and hopefully motivate and inspire young farmers around the district,” said Peter Reeves.

Mokairau Farm comprises 2867 hectares, 2288ha effective, and the Reeves run close to 22,000 stock units — sheep and cattle— including its Hereford cattle stud.

Mr Reeves has farmed Mokairau for more than 40 years, taking over from father David.

The farm has been in the family since 1926.

“A major part of the property’s success is the support I get from my wife Christine and our sons Sam, Jon, Richard and Matthew, daughter Sophie and son-in-law Nicky Land,” said Peter Reeves.

Ten grandchildren are also being nurtured into the Mokairau culture and farming life.

“It’s the involvement of our whole family that we think makes Mokairau the successful operation it is,” said Mr Reeves.

His wife agrees.

“It’s a lovely accolade for our family to get, particularly for Peter, a hard-working and good man. We all enjoy backing him up,” said Mrs Reeves.

“Our strength has always been working together as a family unit but Peter and I have an end date for that.

“Our aim has been to grow the future of the family business and then step back, which we will do at some stage in the next few years.

“Meanwhile, we are privileged to be caretakers of this stunning farm and count it a blessing to call it home.”

The judges toured Mokairau last week.

“I was a bit nervous to have them looking over the place, and wondering what they would think,” said Mr Reeves. “It turns out I need not have been so nervous.”

Head of the judging panel Adrian Brown, the agri-business manager for Rabobank, said the Reeves had shown good stewardship of their land.

“They involve all family members around their decision-making, and have set about achieving their long-term goals. They show good financial discipline and balance a lower cost structure in order to achieve a higher EFS (Economic Farm Surplus).”

Mr Brown said the Reeves also showed a wide community involvement through different organisations.

“They are worthy winners, who strive to achieve.”

Federated Farmers acting provincial president Sandra Faulkner said the award celebrated a hard-working rural family.

“Peter and Christine and their family are continuously looking to improve the performance of their property.

“Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers is always looking to celebrate farming excellence in our own region and the winners are certainly an example of that.”

An open day will be held at Mokairau on May 2.

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