Ben and Anna Gillespie along with our children Will and Milly are a farming family in Central Otago, New Zealand. With a 400 ha property at Omakau we run a dairy grazing and beef finishing operation. We both studied at Lincoln University where Anna gained a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture and a Masters in Applied Science (Farm Management Consultancy) and Ben gained a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Masters in Agricultural Science (Pasture Science). With this academic background coupled with practical experience we strive to achieve best practices in all we do on farm. We place huge emphasis on feeding stock well, animal health and welfare.
We farm in a low rainfall area (450mm), where winters can be very cold (-10oC) and summers extremely hot (30+oC). This challenging environment means our irrigation is essential. We have a strong environmental focus and have started planting both shelter belts and natives in our riparian areas. We are conscious of changing environmental regulations and we strive to use best management practices across the entire farm. Lucerne is giving us excellent quality supplements, and the ability to graze it in the later summer and autumn when it can be particularly dry.
2017 Central Otago Dairy Heifer Competition – Top Grazier Award
2019 Central Otago Winter Feed Competition – Best Overall Crop Award
2020 Otago Balance Farm Environment Awards – Winners of:
Regional Supreme Award,
WaterForce – Wise with Water Award,
Balance Agri Nutrients – Soil Management Award.
We graze dairy replacement heifers from calves through till when they go home to calve, and finish beef cattle through winter and spring. We grow Brigadier Fodderbeet as our winter crop giving excellent growth rates for all classes of stock.
Images from the farm.
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