Beef + Lamb NZ

Published on 12 Mar 2018

Kiwi Pole Vaulter Eliza McCartney is featured in Beef + Lamb's latest campaign #IAMPROUD

Adding value to environmentally friendly lamb production in the Kaipara catchment

October 2017 – Rural Delivery Publication

Award-winning farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd say they see themselves as food producers, not just farmers. The Kidds have farmed at Whenuanui since 1977 and it has been in the family since the early 1950’s. Since Richard and Dianne took over, they have expanded its size by about 50 percent. The high price of land in the district has led them to lease land. The Kidds have a long time manager, Jeffrey Bradly . They also work with their son David (currently away on a Nuffield scholarship) who farms further north.

In 2016 they were awarded the supreme Ballance Farm Environment Award - the Gordon Stephenson Trophy for sustainable farming.

The farm runs 1300 facial eczema-tolerant Coopworth ewes. The ewes lamb at 170 per cent and the hoggets at 129 per cent. They supply the lambs from late October through to February under the ‘Kaipara Lamb’ label.

Richard says some time ago he and Dianne decided they wanted to connect with urban consumers more directly. Their farm is close to Auckland and they decided they wanted to sell into that market with a story about the lamb they produce and the way they do it sustainably. Kaipara Lamb is a brand the Kidds have established with several other local farmers to sell their lamb into Countdown supermarket stores. Countdown pays farmers supplying under the Kaipara brand a premium for the lamb.

The Kidds also run a herd of 300 Angus cows. The weaners are sold onto the market. They are grazed off farm in a neighbouring forest lot from June to September each year. This removes them from the farm in the winter and protects the pasture.

All of the farm's waterways are fenced off and there are large areas of raupo and other species that filter impurities out of the water that travels down the hills in the wetland areas.

The Kidds fenced off the area 12-15 years ago and planted manuka and flax on its edges. Tests on the water quality running through the farm have confirmed it as being extremely high quality. The neighbouring farms are following his example and the water leaving the catchment into the Kaipara Harbour is exceptionally clean, Kidd says.

"We had it tested and apart from nitrate and phosphate levels which were negligible, we've got species in there like fresh water crayfish and whitebait and lots of micro-organisms that we were told wouldn't survive unless the water was extremely clean."

The farm has 15.3ha of native bush fenced off 30 years ago and an 18.5ha pine woodlot planted 22 years ago as a retirement nest egg. Pests such as possums have been a major issue over the years in the bush area and there has been an ongoing control programme underway.

Environment Ambassadors

Recent article in National Farming Review – page 10-11

Growing awareness of NZ water quality issues in Europe

Helensville farmer Richard Kidd says NZ still needs to do more to have environmentally and financially sustainable ...

Helensville farmer Richard Kidd says NZ still needs to do more to have environmentally and financially sustainable agriculture.


The agriculture industry cannot afford any complacency about farming sustainably, say last year's national winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Helensville sheep and beef farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd went to Europe this year as a part of their prize and passed on their travel observations to supreme regional winners at the unveiling of the national award winners in Invercargill last week.

As a part of their trip they went to Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to learn about their agricultural industries. Richard said they went into the trip with their "green glasses" on.

Richard and Dianne Kidd talk about their European trip to Ballance Farm Environment Award regional winners and alumni.

Richard and Dianne Kidd talk about their European trip to Ballance Farm Environment Award regional winners and alumni.


Dianne said they were able to "fly under the radar" and find out what European farmers and agribusiness professionals thought of New Zealand agriculture.

*Lambs from the farm to the supermarket in less than a day
*I'm a food producer not a farmer: Richard Kidd

In the UK, the Kidds met with representatives from Anzco and went to Waitrose to get an understand of just how big Easter lamb sales were.

"We are competing a bit with the UK lamb," Richard said.

However, New Zealand lamb was complementary to seasons when their farmers could not produce enough lamb for the market. 

The Kidds felt a shift towards 'buy local' campaigns, and with the uncertainty Brexit had caused, they were disappointed Beef + Lamb New Zealand had decided to wind down their operation in the UK, Richard said.

He said consumer interaction was also growing in the country. Supermarket chains, the food service industry, and consumers were looking to source products from sustainable producers.

He said New Zealand's food producing industry needed to do more to get food on the shelves which had good stories behind them.

"At the end of the day, whether its nationally or not, supermarkets are where most of our products are sold."

In Ireland, the couple wanted to see how Origin Green worked, as well as how the Burren Programme worked to encourage farmers to conserve their environment.

Richard said it was great to see the agriculture industry come together to create a national strategy for food products.

The Burren Programme encourages local farmers to graze an area with their stock to prevent the area becoming overrun with weeds.

"The farmers take huge pride in getting that land right," Dianne said.

In the Netherlands, they visited VanDrie, the largest veal producers in the world. They also went to a dairy farm, an egg factory, and learnt about the Green Fund which farmers could apply for a loan for approved environmental projects.

The Kidds were impressed by the animal welfare standards at VanDrie, as well as the company's internal processing, distribution and marketing.

Each cut of veal was tagged with a farm code and the complete animal health record, Dianne said.

"That's traceability to the Nth degree."

Dairy farmers in the Netherlands had been told by the European Union they needed to reduce cow numbers by 150,000 as there was too much nitrogen and phosphorus going onto paddocks, Richard said.

The definition of a grass-fed cow in the Netherlands is 160 days on grass outside, which meant many were fed in sheds the rest of the year, he said.

While New Zealand agriculture was mostly highly regarded in Europe and recognised for great animal health, technology and genetics, the Europeans were aware of the country's water quality issues, Dianne said.

The couple said the country needed to come up with a national strategy to drive the value of products and not the volume.

"We are a lot more than once-removed from our markets and we need to be aware," Dianne said.

And while the couple knew Kiwi farmers were on the right track with sustainability, there was still more they could be doing.

"I know we can do more and we've got to do better," Richard said.

 - Stuff

I’m a food producer, not a farmer

Article from Stuff 29.03.2017

Richard Kidd is not just a sheep and beef farmer, he is a food producer.

It is a small but subtle twist on words that he believed has helped him better connect with urban consumers.

Just calling himself a farmer was too broad, he said.

"We have a better story to say than we are just farmers. We are producing food that the public has to eat and I think they deserve to know that it's well farmed, as free as chemicals as possible and a good story behind it."

Helensville farming couple supreme winners of farming environment award
Auckland couple win top farm award for farming and environment record
Guy backs science to find solutions to agriculture's environmental challenges

He credited his wife Dianne with the idea. The Kidds' farm near Helensville is close to Auckland and made selling their lamb into that market a no-brainer.

Richard Kidd is keen to be known as a food producer, not a sheep and beef farmer.

Richard Kidd is keen to be known as a food producer, not a sheep and beef farmer.


"Dianne's very keen that we're not known as farmers but as food producers and I think that is what we have to convey, that we are dealing with a product we like to eat and a good quality product."

Farming's economic contribution to Auckland snuck under the radar, he said. About 70 per cent of the land area in the region was either in rural or horticulture production and contributed about $2.4 billion to the Auckland economy.

Speaking at a field day on his farm, Kidd told other producers that their vision was to have a highly productive food producing business that led by example in environmental sustainability and created a rural landscape they enjoyed and were proud of.

The Kidds are last year's national winners of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy for sustainable farming. He initially discovered he was unable to enter the awards because at the time, the greater Auckland region was not part of the award's setup.

"It took a fair battle," he said.

In 2015 he was told that the Auckland region was to be part of the awards and entered. 

"We entered to benchmark ourselves against other farmers around and to see how well we could do and we were delighted to win the inaugural award."

In April, the couple leave for Europe as part of their prize for winning the award.

They planned to visit Ireland to learn more about the country's sustainability programme for its food and drink known as Origin Green, which 97 per cent of its farmers have signed up for.

"I thought gee that's a high uptake."

In the wake of Brexit and the failed TPPA, Kidd said farmers had to keep being innovative and he was not convinced red meat was being well enough promoted inside New Zealand. 

Kidd said they planned to see how Irish leaders got farmers to buy into the scheme and whether it could be replicated in New Zealand.

"I believe it could be a good model to consider and I believe the Government have had their own people over there."

They will also travel to the Netherlands to view its farming systems.

Farmers worked hard behind the farmgate and were disappointed with the returns they were receiving and better branding would also help improve relations between farmers and urban consumers.

"I think that's because we don't tell our story well enough."

He backed up his beliefs by establishing Kaipara Lamb along with several other local farmers, which is sold in Countdown supermarket stores.

Attending the day was Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, who described the Kidd's farm as one of the country's leading farms in terms of sustainability.

He commended the Kidds for reaching out and forging bridges with urban people in Auckland. 

"Their livestock is amazing and their environmental performance is world-leading and they have created a story around Kaipara Lamb that is feeding many domestic consumers here in Auckland and across the country."

 - Stuff

Guy backs science to find solutions to agriculture’s environmental challenges

Article from Stuff 27.03.2017

Richard Kidd explains the inner workings of his farm to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Richard Kidd explains the inner workings of his farm to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.


Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the government is backing science to find solutions to the environmental challenges facing pastoral farming.

This comes after the release of two "challenging" reports that recommended the primary sector look at ways to reduce its environmental impact by reducing livestock numbers, add biological emissions into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and halt investments in irrigation schemes.

Speaking at a field day at the farm of Richard and Dianne Kidd near Helensville, Guy said they would look closely at the recommendations of each report, authored by the OECD and London-based Vivid Economics respectively.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, pictured centre, says science will help find solutions to the environmental ...

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, pictured centre, says science will help find solutions to the environmental challenges facing pastoral farming.

The OECD report said the environment was under increasing stress due to an economy reliant on primary industries, resulting in environmental trade-offs, which put the country's "green" reputation at risk.

Guy said he met with its authors last year and described its findings as  "challenging for our primary sector."

"Yes we have some challenges, yes we will work constructively with regional councils on a catchment by catchment basis."

He rejected its claim that New Zealand's environmental reputation was at risk.  Many other countries around the world faced greater challenges than New Zealand around animal welfare and environmental performance.

"We are put on a pedestal for being clean and green. Yes we have got some challenges and we will work through that on a catchment by catchment basis and farmers are up to those challenges."

He also took issue with its call to halt irrigation investments. These schemes were good environmentally, economically and socially for the country, he said.

Proposals such as the Hunter Downs scheme in South Canterbury aimed to direct water into towns such as Waimate as well as service farmers.

Guy acknowledged there were challenges ahead around biological emissions from livestock.

Biological emissions are not included in the ETS and the Government had established the Global Research Alliance and the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Consortium to work towards scientific solutions around animal emissions.

"They are very close to cracking a methane vaccine on livestock which will reduce emissions from livestock.

"We realise we need to do more and we will address these challenges through science." 

The Government had also established a technical working group to look at whether biological emissions should be included in the ETS, which will be reporting back at the end of this year.

"My personal view is that we need to try to invest in solutions and those solutions will be in research."

Implementing Vivid Economics' recommendation of a 35 per cent reduction in stock numbers and a shift to horticulture, crops and forestry would be incredibly challenging for the New Zealand economy, Guy said.

"That would [see] people line up at WINZ for the dole queue. That would see our regional economies and provincial towns almost close down."

The best way to deal with these challenges, including freshwater quality, is at a catchment by catchment level and working with regional councils, he said.

Farmers in a voluntary capacity have come a long way in a short period of time when it came to fencing waterways with 24,000 kilometres fenced over the past decade, and that should be acknowledged.

"My view is that this gets lost in the debate."

For the drystock sector, the cost would be about $370 million for it to fence off its waterways over the next 13 years. Guy said this would be challenging and much of that cost would involve water reticulation.

 - Stuff

Country Life article in Radio New Zealand

Article in Country Life 27.01.2017

Richard and Dianne Kidd

Richard and Dianne Kidd Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Helensville farmers Dianne and Richard Kidd have been asking if they could enter the Farm Environment Awards for years.

But it wasn't until last year that Auckland farmers were invited to enter, so they did and they won.

It was a good year - they then went on to win the Gordon Stephenson Trophy - a national honour presented to one of the 11 regional winners in the Farm Environment Awards.

Dianne and Richard have been running Whenuanui farm at Helensville for more than 35 years.

It's a picturesque sheep and beef farm about 40 minutes from downtown Auckland.


Whenuanui Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Richard says there's a perception there's not much farming in Auckland.

"But the Auckland region actually has got 70 per cent of its land in agriculture, horticulture and ...vineyards so it makes up a big part of the area and also we contribute about two and a half billion to the Auckland economy.

"As someone said to us it's sort of the rural in the north and in the south that book-end all the tarseal and houses in the middle."

The Kidds farm 1200 coopworth ewes and 300 angus cattle.

They've been working to improve the farm environment since they bought it.

"A lot of it was just common sense like you'd get the odd stock stuck in a drain or something so the simplest way to stop that was to fence the drains off."

Stock would also head into bush and it would be a struggle to get them out so bush blocks were also fenced.

"And then regeneration happened....and we have enhanced that over the years and have added some kauris.. and rimus that weren't on the farm and totaras around the edges. So a lot of what we have done is adding nothing to  income but it gives you a lot of satisfaction to go out over the farm and see it looking good and think back to what those blocks used to look like."

Dianne Kidd and Jack

Dianne Kidd and Jack Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Richard and Dianne have an on-going campaign to eradicate possums and have their bait stations GPS positioned.  Two years ago more than 300 possums were caught.   

The trees are thriving and birds have taken up residence in good numbers.

"We've got a small population of kaka now actually on the farm which is a thrill when we see them," Dianne says.

Whenuanui farm, with its picture-book looks and its proximity to Auckland, is a favourite for filming. Many commercials and short films have been shot there.

"We're lucky to live in the Kaipara River Valley..and we  back onto Muriwai beach and the Woodhill Forest," Dianne says. "But what I think Richard has been really visionary right from when we were married...was to look at the whole of the farm as a landscape and in parts it's just like a park. It's beautiful."


Showcase for the big smoke

Article in Farmers Weekly 24.06.2016

Richard-Dianne-Kidd-win-farm-award.JPGRichard and Dianne Kidd, of Helensville, on the South Kaipara Harbour, are showcase farmers for the huge, nearby Auckland population, a role they relish.

Now they have the 2016 National Award from the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust to validate their 30-plus years of continual environmental improvement on a highly productive peri-urban farm.

National honours and the Gordon Stephenson Trophy bring a long list of expectations, including an overseas trip, a nationwide tour, an appearance before the Parliamentary Primary Select Committee and prizes from the Ballance Farm Environment Awards national sponsors.

"We will do our very best to represent farming positively to the people of Auckland, the rest of NZ and overseas, which is something that doesn't faze us at all," they said.

Only last week Richard and Dianne hosted 140 secondary students from Westlake Boys High on a geography field trip to do with Auckland's three harbours.

"I gave them a good pitch about agriculture, which is not all pulling teats and dagging sheep, but has so many great avenues for fulfilling employment," he said.

"Sadly many didn't seem to be interested."

At the May 6 field day for the Auckland supreme winner, on the Kidds' 375ha Whenuanui Farm, a busload of Mt Albert Grammar agriculture students were invited and encouraged to ask questions.

Richard has a welcoming manner and familiar face, having featured in Woolworths/Foodtown/Countdown television advertisements for Angus beef.

The latest honours for environmental sustainability should be manna for Kaipara Lamb, a joint venture supply agreement between Progressive Enterprises, the Kidds and other district sheep farmers.

He was also third in the primetime televised, then-Skellerup Young Farmer Grand Final in 1984, which David attended in his baby bassinet before earning his own triumph 30 years later.

Dianne's Queen's Birthday MNZM cited her 27 years as a founding trustee of the Helensville District Health Trust and accomplishments in rural health administration.

"Our vision is to be the healthiest rural community in New Zealand," she said.

The trust owns a birthing centre, a medical centre serving 15,000 people, and a House of Wellbeing social enterprise hub.

An economist by training and former teacher and funds manager, Dianne is a director of AsureQuality, the Co-operative Bank and Unitec deputy chair.

At the National Showcase event in the Bay of Islands, featuring all 11 regional supreme winners, the Kidds were joined by David and wife Janine, now farming on South Kaipara Head, another son Geoffrey, and manager Jeffery and Tracey Bradly.

The cheer squad was led by Auckland councillor Penny Webster, a former mayor of Rodney District Council and former president of Auckland Federated Farmers.

Third son Hamish was woken up in New York with his parents' news.

Whenuanui Farm has its own comprehensive website, pitched as a film and photography location and a bed and breakfast in quintessential rural NZ only 45 minutes from the centre of Auckland.

It lies within the western green belt of the supercity, a few kilometres further out than the wine industry birthplace district of Kumeu.

The flat to easy-rolling property has been in Richard's family since 1951 and Richard and Dianne have farmed it since 1978.

It carries nearly 5000 stock units, 40% sheep and 60% cattle.

The farm has been extended by 50% in recent years and features several fenced native bush areas to form biodiversity corridors from the back boundary, the coastal Woodhill Forest, to the front of the farm on SH16.

Woodhill is owned by Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, the trees managed by Hancock Forest Management and hosts several recreational activities like horse and mountain bike riding.

Under a long-term agreement, the Kidds are able to winter 300 Angus breeding cows and 60 of their mated heifers for three or four months in Woodhill, keeping down pampas grass and supplemented with hay.

This keeps them off the farm paddocks during the wetter months, leaving home-grown pasture to the early-lambing ewes.

It also balances the environmental pressures on Whenuanui, helping protect the farm from the effects of harsh summers and wet winters.

Mixed plantings of native trees, including kauri, rimu, totara and pohutukawa, have enhanced the margins of retired bush areas and natural regrowth is very evident where possums have been controlled.

More than 300 possums were culled last year after pohutukawa damage was noticed but they may be replenished, along with feral deer, from nearby Woodhill.

When the Kidds fenced and conserved bush areas they were able to get compensatory land titles from the former Rodney District Council, which they then transferred to a side road frontage for subdivision and sale.

The National Showcase judges said Richard and Dianne's exceptional communication skills and broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture, would make them superb ambassadors for NZ primary industries.

"We are proud of what we have and what we have achieved and we have a story worth telling," Richard said.

He approached the Farm Environment Award organisers several years ago to see if and how he could enter, but at that time the Auckland Regional Council was not participating.

Only last year were the persuasive efforts of Webster and fellow rural councillor Bill Cashmore enough to get the supercity involved.

As both inaugural Auckland supreme winners and national winners, the Kidds have repaid that faith.

"The awards give us a high profile and we can do what we can to break down perceived barriers," Richard said.

Ballance environmental champions

Article appeared in Farmers Weekly Online – 23.6.2016

Auckland farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd have won the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Their win was announced at a gala dinner in Northland last night.

The Kidds own a 376ha sheep, beef and forestry unit, Whenuanui Farm, on the edge of Auckland city.

Their breeding and finishing operation runs 4820 stock units on 331ha (effective) with a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.

The Kidds were described as "environmental champions and great role models for drystock farming, achieving impressive stock and financial performance while working hand-in-hand with the environment".

They were chosen from the 11 regional supreme winners of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

NZFE Trust chairman Simon Saunders said the Kidds will be excellent ambassadors for New Zealand's primary industry.

"It's clear that Richard and Dianne possess the outstanding communication and leadership skills necessary to spread the sustainability message to both a national and international audience."

He says the Kidds were chosen from an exemplary group of regional winners, "who all demonstrated a huge amount of passion and commitment for their businesses and their industry".

The trophy was presented to the Helensville couple by Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries.

Saunders thanked the judges - Joanne van Polanen, Warwick Catto, Jamie Strang, Charmaine O'Shea, Stephen Hall and George Murdoch – for taking on the tough challenge of picking the National Winner from such a talented pool of candidates.

For more information on the 2016 National Winner, visit the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust website

Entries for the 2017 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open on August 1, 2016.

Working hand-in-hand with the environment

Article appeared in Beef and Lamb NZ 23.6.2016


Auckland farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd are the national winners of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

The Kidds own Whenuanui Farm – a 376ha sheep, beef and forestry unit on the edge of Auckland city.

It's a breeding and finishing operation and they run 4,820 stock units on 331ha (effective). They have a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha, and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.

Environmental strengths

Earlier in the year the Kidds won the BFEA Supreme Award, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and Farm Stewardship Award for their region.

Judges commented that the Kidds "achieved impressive stock and financial performance while working hand-in-hand with the environment".

Particular areas of strength included "outstanding" soil, cropping and winter stock management to minimise environmental impacts; waterways being fenced, with raupo providing sediment traps; and having shade and shelter in every paddock.

Awards evening

The Kidds were chosen for the national title from the 11 regional 'supreme winners' at a dinner event in Auckland on 22 June.

Banner image: B+LNZ CEO Sam McIvor with the Kidds at the awards evening.

National Winners – Ballance Farm Environment Awards 2016

Recipients of the Gordon Stephenson trophy


Richard and Dianne clearly share a deep passion for their family's show piece farm on the edge of Auckland city. Their beef breeding and sheep breeding and finishing operation runs 4820 stock units on 331ha (effective) with a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.

Richard and Dianne, who have three adult sons, have farmed the flat to easy-rolling property since the late 1970s.

They are pragmatic about protecting the environment for future generations. All waterways have been fenced, and large areas of raupo act as sediment traps to capture nutrients. Biodiversity corridors link the upper catchment areas to the bush, and bush remnants have been planted with native species such as kauri, rimu and pohutukawa.

Whenuanui runs 300 Angus breeding cows and a Coopworth ewe flock. Mixed-age ewes lambed at 162 percent last year, with hoggets achieving an impressive 129 percent. All lambs are sold prime under the "Kaipara Lamb" brand.

Assisted by long-time manager Jeffrey Bradly, the Kidds' apply well-planned winter stock policies, outstanding soil management and the extensive use of summer cropping to minimise the environmental impacts of the operation. They are well regarded within their local district and wider New Zealand. Their commitment to their community and agriculture is demonstrated by their lengthy involvement in areas such as health, sport and education.

Judges Comments

Richard and Dianne’s exceptional communication skills and broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture, both nationally and globally, will make them superb ambassadors for New Zealand’s primary industry.

Their property is a showcase farm on the edge of New Zealand’s largest city. They regard it as a privilege to be farming close to Auckland and they epitomise the contribution Auckland’s hinterland - a rural environment populated by real farms - makes to the region. They have complementary skills and work well as a team. Their long-term focus on environmental stewardship and business sustainability makes them great role models for other farmers.

Whenuanui Farm is a beautifully presented property, with shade and shelter in every paddock. Waterways are fenced and several large areas of raupo act as sediment traps. Water quality is actively monitored and a pest control programme is in place. Environmental impacts are minimised through the outstanding management of soils, innovative use of new pasture species and the extensive use of summer cropping.

Their operation achieves impressive stock and financial performance and their commitment to the environment has opened up opportunities and created new revenue streams, including the ‘Kaipara Lamb’ brand that highlights the production of high quality lamb meat with minimal stress to lambs. The Kidds make good use of a webpage to promote Kaipara Lamb and to market their bed and breakfast and on-farm filming businesses.

Richard and Dianne are passionate about sheep and beef farming. They have taken a strong leadership role in their industry and are highly respected by others in the wider community. They value staff, and their commitment to their community and agriculture is demonstrated by their longstanding and deep involvement in areas such as health, sport and education.

The Gordon Stephenson Trophy

When Waikato farmer and conservationist, the late Gordon Stephenson first mooted the idea for a farm environment competition in 1991 he had no idea just how successful the concept would become. Gordon said the Farm Environment Awards were developed as a way to recognise farmers who were trying to balance farm productivity with environmental protection.

The Gordon Stephenson Trophy is awarded to a Ballance Farm Environment Award Supreme Winner. The awardee will be recognised as an “Ambassador” for the promotion of sustainable and profitable farming.


Winners of the 2016 National Award & the Supreme Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Auckland_Winners_Brochure_2016-1.jpgOn 22 June 2016 at a gala dinner hosted by the NZ Farm Environment Trust at Waitangi, Northland - Richard & Dianne were announced as the winners of the 2016 National Award and presented with the prestigious Gordon Stephenson Trophy.  "We are enormously proud to receive this award & trophy".  It recognises a 38 year farming career, love of the land and commitment to farming.  We were thrilled to receive the inaugural Auckland Supreme Ballance Farm Environment Award on Wednesday 30 March 2016.  Auckland farmers can be very proud of the diverse and very talented people farming from Waiuku in the South up to Warkworth in the North.  The National Award was contested by the 11 Supreme regional winners from Southland to Northland. "we are delighted that Auckland Council has embraced the Ballance Farm Environment Awards recognising that 70% of the Auckland Council region is farmed and currently contributes $2.3 billion to the Auckland economy.  Impressive statistics.

As Supreme winners in Auckland we were also recipients of the Beef & Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award in Partnership with the QEII National Trust and the NZ Farm Trust Award.  Whenuanui Farm hosted an  open day on Friday 6 May 2016.  An estimated 150 people attended taking the opportunity to hear about Whenuanui Farm and see over the far.  Countdown sponsored excellent lamb and beef for the BBQ.  

Download a copy of our entry here.


Kidd takes crown

Article appeared in Farmers Weekly 7.7.2024

David Kidd was crowned ANZ Young Farmer champion in Christchurch on Saturday.

"It's still all sinking in, but it feels absolutely fantastic," Kidd said.

In the 46 years of the contest's history, Kidd is the first Northern grand finalist to take the title.

Winning could be in his blood because 30 years ago, when Kidd was just born, his father Richard Kidd competed at the 1984 Timaru grand final, where he placed third.

Kidd joked that his inspiration for competing was to do better than his father, and added that he'll be rubbing it in when he sees him.

Second place went to Tasman's Reuben Carter who also won the Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge and Dean Rabbidge of Otago/Southland placed third overall.

The youngest competitor, twenty-five year old James Davidson of Aorangi took out the Silver Fern Farms Agri-Sports Challenge and East Coast's Sully Alsop won the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge.

Kidd also won the Lincoln University Agri-Growth Challenge.

The ANZ Young Farmer Contest stretches competitors' mental dexterity, physical stamina, and showcases the sophistication of modern farming.   

The seven grand finalists were put through their paces over three days of competition in Christchurch on July 3 to July 5.  

Kidd holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and works as a manager on a beef breeding and finishing farm, of which he is a partner, at Shelley Beach on the South Kaipara Head Peninsula.   

He is a member of the Auckland City Young Farmers Club and the Northern Regional Chair for New Zealand Young Farmers. He says he hopes the win will encourage other Northern Young Farmers members to compete and to "realise that [they] can foot it with everyone else on the big stage."

He won nearly $70,000 in prizes including $10,000 cash from ANZ, entrance to Kellogg's Rural Leadership Programme at Lincoln University valued at $6000, Ravensdown and C-Dax products worth $7000, a $2000 AGMARDT scholarship towards career development, a gourmet BBQ and farm technology package from Silver Fern Farms and FarmIQ worth $10,000, a Honda ATV and generator worth $19,700, Husqvarna power equipment worth $7000, and Vodafone products and services to the value of $7000.


1.    David Kidd – Northern 303pts
2.    Reuben Carter – Tasman 301pts
3.    Dean Rabbidge – Otago/Southland 293pts
4.    Dwayne Cowin – Waikato/Bay of Plenty 289pts
5.    Sully Alsop – East Coast 288pts
6.    Brad Lewis – Taranaki/Manawatu 277pts
7.    James Davidson – Aorangi 275pts

Kidd breaks Northern YFC drought

Article appeared in Farmers Weekly 9.7.2014


Northern finally has its first Young Farmers Contest winner in David Kidd. The Kaipara farmer spoke to Hugh Stringleman.

David Kidd won the ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final, ending 46 years without success for the Northern Region.

At his first and last attempt – because he will be ineligible now because of age – Kidd won this month’s final in Christchurch by just two points.

Of the seven regions that have competed in the contest since 1969, only Northern had never won. 

It took one of a second generation of grand finalists from the region to triumphantly lift the albatross from Northern’s neck.

Kidd, 30, is a son of Richard Kidd, of Helensville, who was third in the 1984 grand final.

The generational connections extend further.

Before getting to Christchurch, Kidd beat Ian Douglas, last year’s Northern grand finalist and son of previous grand finalist Murray Douglas, who was fifth in 1981 and 1986.

And among Kidd’s competitors at the regional final in Kaikohe in March were husband and wife Rob and Rachel Cashmore. Rob’s father is well-known Auckland councillor Bill Cashmore, from Franklin, who was also a grand finalist.

Bill was a finalist in 1985 and finished second in 1987, which was Northern’s highest placing until Kidd succeeded.