Fifth-generation sheep & beef farmer turned Kaipara Mayor

Rural Exchange 28/10/2018

In just six years, Dr Jason Smith has turned his old family farm into a profitable and sustainable business.

He wasn't offered the easiest start, with boundary fences that weren't stock-proof, a huge area of gorse, no recent fertiliser history and inadequate livestock handling facilities.

But in 2016, the 430ha Greenhill farm won the Massey University Innovation Award at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

It also won the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award for the maize cropping achievements.

Daily progress at Greenhill can be monitored from anywhere in the world, judges said, thanks to Dr Smith's innovative use of technology.

In February this year, the fifth-generation Kaipara sheep, beef and cropping farmer won a by-election for the Kaipara District mayoralty.

Since then, he's only pulled the gumboots on “a dozen times” thanks to farm manager Craig Douglas, who handles the day-to-day running of the farm.

Read more about this story here.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Jason Smith above.

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