Having both grown up in North Canterbury, the Butters family jumped at the chance to farm at Glenallen station in Waikari, and have done for more than 10 years now. Their station covers 1000 hectares and is home to Jimmy and Penny Butters, their 3 children and a flock of 2,000 merino ewes.
One of the challenges to living in this area of the world can be the dry summers. Thankfully, the merino breed fit well with this type of climate and enjoy foraging amongst the tussock grasses.
When your livelihood depends on the natural cycle of things - the weather, annual growing of wool, continuously caring for sheep and their environment throughout the seasons - Jimmy and Penny understand the importance of working in harmony with nature.
"A big part of it is the animal welfare, looking after them and to grow a good healthy fleece, they have to be fed really well" - Jimmy Butters
Being ZQ certified growers, the Butters have the option and security of long-term supply contracts with world-class brands. There's pride, knowing that their progressive way of farming is being recognised and rewarded year after year.
The contracts provide the family the ability to implement their goals in sustainability - fencing off waterways and areas of great native diversity for future protection.
The Butters aim to leave the farm in a better condition than they found it, 10 years ago. Working with the natural regenerative properties of the land, they hope to hand over a thriving ecosystem to their children one day.