Farm gifted to church a holiday haven

Farm gifted to church a holiday haven
PHOTOS: Stephanie and James Carter with children Charlotte and Isabella. James mustering ewes and lambs at Glen Innes.

Glen Innis Station, south east of Waipukurau in Hawkes Bay, has a different purpose from most farms.
Owned by the Presbyterian Church the aim of the farm is to provide ordained ministers of the Presbyterian Church a week’s free holiday accommodation each year so they can continue their good work in the community.
The farm was gifted to the church by James McNutt in 1959 and is managed by James and Stephanie Carter under the governance of the Church Property Trustees.
Two houses are available on the property for ministers – the original homestead (now known as James McNutt House) and the former gardener’s cottage (now renamed Maud Hooper House in memory of James’ wife) and there is a swimming pool, tennis court and games rooms for guests’ use.
Stephanie is largely in charge of this side of the operation leaving James free to focus on the 595ha effective farm.
Since the couple arrived in 2015 they have focused on improving productivity as well as looking after the environment.
This has led James to reduce the ratio of sheep on the property and increase the cattle side of the business.
They now winter 270 cattle and mate 2800 romney ewes, 1050 hoggets and carry through 1500 winter trade lambs
. Previously there were 4200 ewes, 1500 hoggets and only 60 cattle
.“We have changed things to make the farm more summer friendly,” explains James.
“At the end of the day sheep turn a dry season into a drought really quickly because of the way they graze the paddocks so I prefer to carry more cattle. But we still dock the same number of lambs despite cutting back sheep stock numbers by mating hoggets back to the ewes.”

Farm gifted to church a holiday haven
PHOTOS: Isabella and Charlotte Carter give dad James a hand planting out saplings. Glen Innes Station has completed a voluntary farm management plan involving fencing off creeks, riparian planting and planting poplar poles on unstable ground.

The aim is to de-stock over summer.
James’ goal is to carry high covers over summer to protect the soil and he sells a large portion of early lambs as store in early November and culls all the old ewes then as well.
If autumn rains eventuate he buys in more store lambs at that point.
James aims for 550kg live-weights in his bulls by autumn and buys in as many as stock as he kills at 200kgs.
Ones that don’t reach his target liveweight are carried through to 650kgs and sent to the works from late September to Christmas.
They are replaced with 300kg bulls and the cycle begins again.
This has been coupled with a focus on improving pasture and around 20% of the farm has been re-grassed since they took over.
Steeper paddocks are put into rape then permanent pasture and the better land goes into italian rye grass for two years then into chicory, which they use as a crop to help ewe lambs reach good weights for mating and also fatten a few trading stock.
James is also focusing on subdividing paddocks for easier management from 10ha to 5ha.
The farm has completed a voluntary farm management plan to help it stay ahead of the game.
This has already involved fencing off creeks, riparian planting and poplar poles on unstable ground.
James and Stephanie have two children: Isabella, 4 ½ and Charlotte 2 ½.
James says the aim is to carry on improving the farm as he still sees good potential for production increase.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts