The first step towards a branding initiative
• The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group has invited Mike Barton to talk to farmers interested in growing their business and being environmentally sustainable. Mike’s presentation will be at Mahia Golf Club on the 22nd of May.
• Mahia Peninsular farmers, Pat and Sue O’Brien, see some connections between what Mike Barton has done in Taupo and the significant conservation work undertaken on Mahia Peninsula to protect water quality. They say his story is inspirational and believe there are opportunities local farmers could consider.
• The Bartons recently won the 2014 Waikato Balance Environment Award and are among the top beef farmers.
• Mike and Sharon Barton farm Glen Emmreth on the western shore of Lake Taupo under a nitrogen cap. Due to a high level of N leaching into Lake Taupo from surrounding farmland, legislation was bought in to protect the lake health. By limiting the amount of nitrogen discharged into the Lake Taupo catchment, the normal farm business model of increasing production in the face of rising costs and flat commodity prices was not a profitable option. With restrictions on stocking rate, the Bartons had to find an innovative way to increase their profitability. They developed their own beef brand “ Taupo Beef” which looks to extract a premium for beef produced, under a catchment wide plan to protect water quality. The results of significant trials and research carried out on the farm lead the Bartons to adopt a more environmentally friendly farming system. Mike’s story is passionate and could inspire other farmers to better link their conservation work with the marketing of their produce.
• The seminar is available on Youtube. If you are interested please follow the link (http://youtu.be/U-0eP5pZ6eE)