Pioneering Sustainable Farming with Pattie O'Boyle

Pioneering Sustainable Farming with Pattie O'Boyle

Pattie O'Boyle farms alongside her husband Tony on Marangai Farm near Masterton. She's an advocate for women in ag and has insight into the sheep and beef financial stress that seems to be besetting, particularly on the sheep side of things, a vast majority of the farmers around the country at the moment. She also has an elevated level of financial literacy having previously worked for a software company.

O'Boyle delves into the financial challenges faced by modern sheep and beef farmers, emphasising the significance of financial literacy and the importance of diversifying farming practices to stay afloat in tough economic times. 

She highlights how Marangai Farm has become a net carbon-zero property and how this status has enabled the O'Boyles to explore new revenue streams, such as carbon income and biodiversity credits. 

O'Boyle highlights their partnership with companies like Silver Fern Farms and how environmental credentials can add value to farm products. 

"We are proud to say that we're a validated net carbon zero property and so that gives us some ability to make claims... for our red meat and for wool, we have that validation and that is giving some extra value." 

The conversation also addresses the broader challenges in agriculture, including the impact of high inflation, rising interest rates, and the conversion of farmland into forests. These changes are not only transforming the landscape but also causing socio-economic ripples, affecting local businesses and community vibrancy. 

O'Boyle expresses concern over the resulting economic downturn and the generational shifts in practices such as sheep shearing, posing the question of whether her son represents the "last generation of sheep shearers." 

Throughout the conversation, O'Boyle's resilience shines through as she recounts overcoming adversities like job loss and the devastation wrought by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

"We've been farming together for 30 years and I think Tony and I had to dig about as deep as we've ever had to dig... but it was a real life lesson." 

O'Boyle's commitment to service in agriculture and the ongoing projects at Marangai Farm underscore her forward-looking perspective and dedication to the industry. 

The conversation ends on a positive note, with O'Boyle expressing her anticipation for the future and the contributions she still plans to make. 

Listen to the full chat between Pattie O'Boyle and Dominic George above.

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