Cloud Farmer users Grant and Sally Charteris recently won the Elworthy Award at the 2021 Deer Industry Conference in Invercargill.
Lead Judge at the awards, Janet Gregory, said of the entrants “All are leaders in the industry, show great passion and stewardship of the land, and are supporting their local communities. But the Charterises were notable for their meticulous planning, documentation, and analysis. This informs their stock and feed management in their district’s challenging climate.”
Grant sees environmental enhancement as one more tool in the marketing toolbox to show Forest Road Farm is a sustainable and sensitively run business. “Stand above the anti-farming complaints and plan for the future. There is no such thing as a finished environment document, but use photos and goals to show the work in progress and what has been achieved.” Grant says.
Cloud Farmer’s customisable Environmental Records page is a great start for planning and detailing projects. “We need to get better at telling our story.” Grant said. With Cloud Farmer you can add more tables, more photos, and even upload your Farm Environment Plan to keep everything in one place and your progress on track.
Grant came back to the family farm in the early 2000’s. His driving passion is deer velvet. “With velvet you get such rapid genetic gains and improvements from your input. That just feeds the motivation—you want to see how far you can take it.” Grant explains. “I like the people and sales side of it—I don’t want to be a commodity trader.” An on farm sale is held in December each year, with around 18 velvet sire stags and 100 yearling hinds on offer.
In addition to his deer herd, Grant runs a small flock of Wiltshires, self shedding sheep, as well as Hereford cattle. Cloud Farmer makes it simple to keep records on all kinds of stock.
Wife Sally teaches school three days a week, so there is the usual juggle of kids to various activities which is shared out between them—though Grant admits Sally handles the bulk of that load! Sally is also closely involved in the farming operation.
A recent farm audit really brought home the value of Cloud Farmer to Grant. “Having Cloud Farmer pulled us through the audit—we were able to show something and justify it so easily. It’s a great tool for information sharing with staff too.”