The winner of the Westpac Osgro Seeds Marlborough Farmer of the Year 2023 is a high-country business that produces Merino wool and meat, stud rams and Angus and Angus Charolais cross cattle.
Muller Station is owned and run by Steve and Mary Satterthwaite together with their daughter Alice and son Ben.
The competition for 2023 attracted excellent entrants and was highly competitive, said competition chair Simon Harvey.
Muller Station won due to a combination of top financial performance from a very productive sheep and beef flock, careful land management and good governance, said Simon.
“Their attention to appropriate genetics has shaped a high-producing Merino, suited to their environment, and a top commercial cattle herd.
“One of the key strengths of the business is that all members of the family are actively involved in running the farming operation.”
“The Satterthwaites utilise off-farm finishing, protecting capital stock performance. They have a grazing management plan to suit both the stock while protecting their fragile environment.”
Muller Station is one of the largest in Marlborough – covering 38,860 hectares at the head of the Awatere Valley, alongside Molesworth. The station runs Merino ewes, with each ewe clipping an impressive 6.3kg of 19-micron wool, on average. Almost 70% of the wool is sold on contract to outdoor and leisurewear clothing companies, including Icebreaker, DTI and others. The family have run a Merino stud since 2005.
Steve is an advocate for wilding conifer control and has been instrumental in bringing policymakers to the back-country to see the environmental issues. Mary is the driver of the station being as self-sufficient as possible. She classes the wool clip and looks after all the accounting. Alice and Ben are both closely involved with the management of the property and presented the farm information during the judging.
A field day at the station will be held in Autumn 2024.