The Beamish saga of eco-farming + athletic triumphs

The Beamish saga of eco-farming + athletic triumphs

Dom is joined by one member of a very successful Kiwi farming family. Alongside his partner Pip, and parents Simon and Josie, Hugo Beamish and his family were recently awarded the Ballance Farm Environment Award for the East Coast Region. Filling up their mantlepiece are the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Beef + Lamb NZ Livestock Farm Award and the Hill Labs Innovation Award.

Beamish, whose family's farm has made significant strides in eco-friendly agriculture, discusses their operation and the accolades they've earned, highlighting the diversity of their farming enterprise in the Whanawhana Valley.

"We go from rolling to steep and [are] lucky enough to have some river flat, with a centre pivot, so all kinds of landscapes and types." 

He details their proactive strategies in dealing with unpredictable weather patterns, such as a predicted El Niño, and their successful management of wet summers. Their environmental stewardship is also showcased, with Hugo stating, "We've got to be profitable so that we can afford to spend money on all of these nice things... we approach it with a lot here." 

He mentions their significant investment in riparian planting and fencing off waterways as part of their commitment to the environment. 

The conversation then transitions to resilience, drawing parallels between the farming challenges and the world of athletics. Beamish shares a personal connection to this theme through his brother, Geordie, an accomplished athlete. 

The discussion touches on the family's sporting achievements, with Beamish reflecting on his own experience as a runner on a scholarship in the United States, as well as the remarkable progress of his brother Geordie. He humorously points out the changes brought by time spent abroad, joking about Geordie's "American accent starting to get that awful hybrid of New Zealand American accent." 

Looking towards the future, he emphasises the family's forward-thinking approach to farming.

"We've got a long list and now it's just prioritising that list and what we've got time for." 

He expresses a commitment to building on their success and continuing their journey of innovation in agriculture. 

The conversation paints a picture of a family whose dedication to excellence is evident both in their sustainable farming practices and in their athletic pursuits, highlighting the importance of resilience, innovation, and long-term vision in rural life.

Listen to the full chat between Hugo Beamish and Dominic George above.

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