Meet Our Farmers

Resourceful and determined, Silver Fern Farmers work hard all year round to ensure together we produce the best red meat in the world.

  • Allen and Jo Johnstone - Common Ground
    Fourth-generation farmers Allen and Jo Johnstone understand better than anyone how farming has changed since the days Allen’s great-grandfather, Wilfred Johnstone, worked the land. Now they have been recognised as winners of the prestigious Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture award for their superior beef and lamb, as well as their outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and the future of farming in New Zealand.
  • Anna Blair - A Lasting Legacy
    Anna Blair loves the variety offered by her job as manager of the family farm. While each day presents a new challenge, it also brings the benefits of lots of time spent in nature.
  • Barry and Heather Gray - A Family Affair
    It’s a safe bet that beef will be on the Grays’ Christmas menu. They know more than most how delicious it is guaranteed to be and the hard work it takes to make that happen, right from plate to pasture. Barry and Heather Gray, their son Richard, and his wife Juliet, own 4000-hectare Hakataramea Station in Canterbury. They moved from Southland in 2008 in order to farm together as a family, as their previous properties had been spread over a 15-kilometre distance. Barry and Richard knew they could work smarter on one property, but it had to be the right one. Hakataramea Station was it – Heather knew it on the very first visit. “It was weird but as we drove around I just felt more and more comfortable,” she says.
  • Ceri and Tori Lewis - Mountain Highs
    Farming at iconic Southland station Mount Linton comes with many benefits, not least of which is the satisfaction of producing some of the best Silver Fern Farms beef in the land.
  • Chris & Anne-Marie Allen - Growing the dream
    Smart technology rules at Annadale. From a smartphone, anywhere in the world, Silver Fern Farms’ Plate to Pasture Award winners Chris and Anne-Marie Allen can monitor rainfall, check the soil moisture and, yes, even watch the grass grow on their 360-hectare sheep and beef property near Methven. But the farm’s most important feature isn’t a piece of kit: it’s the farmers’ commitment to consistently supply quality, pasture-raised food to the consumer. Chris and Anne-Marie both grew up on farms – he in the Waikato, she originally in Central Otago then Geraldine, which is 40 minutes from Annadale (her father Frank still farms there, aged 82). But both had settled into successful city-based careers before they bought the farm on Frank’s advice. Chris was an Air New Zealand aviation engineer, Anne-Marie a computer accountant. Those may seem a long way from agriculture but a large part of the couple’s success is due to harnessing, and reinventing, those very skills to suit the business of farming.
  • Dan and Tam Jex-Blake - Mountain Magic
    Nothing quite prepares you for the dramatic views that unfold from the highest point of Silver Fern Farmers Dan and Tam Jex-Blake’s Gisborne property, their lush home base for supplying Silver Fern Farms with its award-winning lamb.
  • Hamish and Anna Mackay - More than a Farm, it’s a Way of Life
    Henry (6) and Forbes (5) Mackay have deep roots in the lakes, valleys and sheep stations around Wanaka. Their grandmother Sally explains that the family connections go back to 1907, when her great-grandfather bought Glendhu Station and later managed Mt Pisa and West Wanaka stations.
  • Hamish and Debby Galletly - Best in show
    Originally the “worst piece of land” in the district, the Galletly family have worked on their Waiau farm for generations, turning it around to win the 2018 Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Award.
  • Hilary Hansen - Haupouri, Okahu
    For those who think the tradition comprises a father passing on the farm to his eldest son, meet the mythbuster. The family of Hilary Hansen’s mother, the Averys, has farmed the Haupouri Station for seven generations – since the early 1860s.
  • John and Liz Chittock - Good Shepherds
    John and Liz Chittock run a lush property in Southland, producing quality beef, lamb and venison for Silver Fern Farms. The couple teach young people how to work the land and share a wealth of experience training dogs.
  • Matt and Lynley Wyeth - Sustainable Farming Family
    Smart technology rules at Annadale. From a smartphone, anywhere in the world, Silver Fern Farms’ Plate to Pasture Award winners Chris and Anne-Marie Allen can monitor rainfall, check the soil moisture and, yes, even watch the grass grow on their 360-hectare sheep and beef property near Methven. But the farm’s most important feature isn’t a piece of kit: it’s the farmers’ commitment to consistently supply quality, pasture-raised food to the consumer. Chris and Anne-Marie both grew up on farms – he in the Waikato, she originally in Central Otago then Geraldine, which is 40 minutes from Annadale (her father Frank still farms there, aged 82). But both had settled into successful city-based careers before they bought the farm on Frank’s advice. Chris was an Air New Zealand aviation engineer, Anne-Marie a computer accountant. Those may seem a long way from agriculture but a large part of the couple’s success is due to harnessing, and reinventing, those very skills to suit the business of farming.
  • Mike and Liz McCreary - Pastures Green
    Silver Fern Farmers Mike and Liz McCreary are part of a new generation of farmers and their guardianship of the land extends to creating one of the best finishing farms for grass-fed lamb in the world.
  • Ross and Jo Hay - Family Values, Global Success
    As Charlie, Phoebe and Archie Hay return from a busy day at school, they run up the dusty winding road that travels across rolling green fields dotted with sheep and turn into their driveway on the family Silver Fern Farms ‘Springbank’ farm in North Otago, just out of Oamaru.
  • Sarah Coleman - Wanstead
    “If you want anything done, you ask Sarah.” That’s a common phrase around Wanstead, southeast of Waipukurau, where Sarah Coleman and husband George farm a 780ha sheep and beef property.
  • Sarah Von Dadelszen - Hinerangi
    You can’t get more Kiwi than Whangara Farms. Three iwi farms came together to protect, improve and sustainably develop the land for future generations.
  • The Douglas-Cliffords - Christmas Past, Present & Future
    Lilly and George Douglas-Clifford play hide and seek in their grandparents’ backyard in North Canterbury’s Greta Valley. The children – the seventh generation of this Canterbury farming family – are excited that Santa is coming soon.
  • The Hurley Family - Making the Grade
    The candles are lit, the table looks spectacular, the music’s been carefully selected. Out comes the piece de resistance, what was supposed to be a juicy, flavoursome piece of steak and … it’s tough and lacklustre. Thankfully, this is now a scenario that can be eliminated from the list of potential dinner party disasters. And there are a whole lot of people who have gone to great lengths to make sure that’s the case.
  • Will and Abbie Foley - Giving Back to the Land
    Fourth-generation farmers Allen and Jo Johnstone understand better than anyone how farming has changed since the days Allen’s great-grandfather, Wilfred Johnstone, worked the land. Now they have been recognised as winners of the prestigious Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture award for their superior beef and lamb, as well as their outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and the future of farming in New Zealand.
  • William & Emily Beetham - A Homestead with a History
    Welcome to a new era in farming, where the focus is about a sense of community, people and partnerships. Silver Fern farmers, William and Emily Beetham have set themselves high expectations at Brancepeth, which is one of New Zealand’s oldest stations in Wainuioru, situated 15 minutes east of Masterton in the Wairarapa.
  • William and Karen Oliver - Award Winning Quality
    Farmers William and Karen Oliver, inaugural winners of the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Awards, have been recognised for their vision, sustainable best practice and production of premium quality venison in the King Country.