Ceri Lewis manages the beautiful farm at Mount Linton Station, producing some of New Zealand’s finest Angus beef in a truly idyllic setting. We interviewed him about what they do there & why.
What is Mount Linton’s Station’s history?
Mount Linton was first settled in 1856 and has been farmed by the current owners since 1903, it covers 32,000 acres and is the largest privately owned property in terms of livestock numbers in New Zealand. In 2003 a 50% shareholding was purchased by the Masfen family.I have managed the Station for the last 10 years.
How did you get into farming & what’s the most rewarding thing about it?
I was sent to New Zealand from Wales as a 16 year old wild out of control schoolboy onto a remote Station on the east coast of the North Island. I loved it so much I never went back and that’s how I got into farming.
The most rewarding thing about farming for me is being able to produce some of the best quality food in the world using mother nature, genetics and the latest innovations in farming.
What types of land does Mount Linton encompass?
We have a balance of land types on the Station ranging from fertile rolling downs growing all the best quality grasses at about 200m above sea level (asl) to steeper fertile hills at 4-600m asl and further out we have native tussock country at 6-850m asl which is basically untouched.
What’s your farming philosophy?
Key elements of our farming philosophy are to produce a niche product from animals that require very few inputs, essentially animals that survive and thrive in our environment with the right genetic makeup. Our farming goals are to produce a consistently high quality product twelve months of the year in a completely sustainable farming system.
How are your farm & methods unique?
Our farm is unique because we have a vast range of land types and topography from intensive finishing systems to extensive native pastures and we have large numbers sheep and cattle that thrive in our environment and have the eating qualities that the most discerning consumers desire..
How does it make you feel to know that families & chefs in America are enjoying your meat?
It is immensely satisfying to know that the meat we take such pride and care in producing is being enjoyed by families and chefs in America and if I could say one thing to them it would be keep enjoying it safe in the knowledge that it has been produced in a clean green country in a sustainable environment with full traceability by people who take a huge amount of pride in their animals.
What’s your favorite cut of the meat you raise? How do you like it prepared?
My favorite cut of meat is a grass fed marbled Angus eye fillet [tenderloin], cooked rare over the grill on the barbeque, to die for!
Why do you work with Silver Fern?
We work with Silver Fern because we see them as the leaders in the Beef business in New Zealand, they are innovative, they undertake research and development, they are all about adding value and understand the need to have a niche product that gives the consumer an outstanding eating experience every time.
Any plans for the future?
Our plans for the future are to keep getting better at what we do which is produce a consistent, niche beef and sheep meat product through innovation, genetics, feeding and a high level of animal and pasture management.