Preserving tradition amidst progress: Stories of resilient farming in the Moutere Hills

Preserving tradition amidst progress: Stories of resilient farming in the Moutere Hills

Reuben Moore has been back home on the family sheep and stud farm in the Moutere Hills in Nelson for a couple of years. On March 19 this year, they're going to open their doors to even more visitors when they host a field day alongside the Beef + Lamb New Zealand AGM. 

Moore, a shepherd and guardian of agricultural tradition, discusses how his family has successfully navigated the challenges of urban sprawl on their ancestral sheep and stud farm in the Moutere Hills of Nelson. 

The family has managed to innovate and thrive by leasing lifestyle blocks and implementing advanced breeding techniques. 

One of the key talking points centres on the Moore family's approach to sheep breeding. They have prioritised natural disease resistance, selecting sheep that can withstand common ailments like parasites, facial eczema, and foot rot without frequent drenching. 

"I think my granddad and his brother John bought the original 200 hectares block in 1959... But it was a pretty simple answer as to why [they started selective breeding], and it's still pretty relevant today."

Another significant topic is the future of farm operations, with a focus on Morgan Moore, the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year. Morgan's story is remarkable as she prepares to take her skills to a butchery competition in Paris. The conversation also hints at the farm's upcoming open day, showcasing the symbiosis of genetic wisdom, feed quality, and environmental care. 

"We got a lot of people to talk to that wanted to help us and get us off the ground," he says.

Moore's personal anecdotes provide a rich context to farming life, with a humorous touch on dealing with lifestyle block owners and the oddities of rural life. 

In essence, the conversation is a tribute to the delicate balance between maintaining tradition and embracing innovation in farming. The Moores represent a generation of farmers who are not only custodians of the land but also visionaries shaping the agricultural landscape for years to come.

Listen to the full chat between Reuben Moore and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Mornings live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

Visit the Rural Exchange Facebook or Instagram page for more information and regular updates from the REX team.