There is no such thing as a "typical" New Zealand sheep and beef farm, so when we were searching for our study farms we wanted to find a variety of management systems. This would enable us to assess different management strategies and make our findings applicable to as many farmers as possible.
Ranging in size from just over 100 hectares to over 1,000, our three farms all differ in their management, landscape and stock they run.
Two farms are owned and operated by Pākehā families and the third is run by a Māori incorporation. One of the goals of the Farming & Nature Conservation project is to investigate the differences between Māori and Pākehā farm management when it comes to on-farm biodiversity value, maintenance and restoration.
Having our three farms spread throughout the country has also allowed us to form relationships with different regional councils. Since farming regulation differs between regions, this has shown us the different obstacles and incentives farmers face throughout Aotearoa.
Our three study farms are spread throughout the country, in Kaipara, Ruapehu and northern Canterbury districts