17 Sep 2021

Farming at Marble Point a dream come true for hard-working couple

From Country Life, 9:27 pm on 17 September 2021

Matt Black says it felt like winning lotto when he and his wife Sarah were selected to became equity partners at Marble Point Station, a scenic 2400-hectare sheep and beef property between Culverdon and Hanmer Springs.

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Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

The couple moved to the station in early 2018 as part of an equity partnership with the Wilson family from West Melton.

Prior to that, they were managing a farm in Waiau, running their own 60-hectare block of land at Culverdon and Matt was also working as an AI technician for LIC.

"Just through word of mouth we were so lucky we heard of this opportunity coming up, but we didn't know the Wilsons and we managed to make contact and put our name in and luckily we were picked and given the opportunity to have a go," Matt says.

The station runs about 3600 Corriedale sheep and 400 Angus cattle that do well foraging on the steep and often dry hills.

Lambing and calving are about to start so fingers are crossed for a good run of weather.

Matt is impressed with the versatility of Corriedales.

"They've got good mothering ability, they're a true dual-purpose sheep, foot-wise they've come a long way and yeah, they suit us well."

With 70 percent sheep, lambs are the main income.

The farm's mid-micron wool clip also makes a small profit and Matt and Sara are weighing up whether to aim to produce even finer wool.  

"The finer you get you may lose a bit of fertility and constitution and with the lambing percentages at the moment we're pretty happy where we're at."

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Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes