Having grown up on Omarama Station in the MacKenzie Basin, Annabelle Subtil considers herself extremely fortunate to have her own family growing up on the same land. She has been back home with husband and two children, running the 12,000 ha sheep & beef property for the last twenty years.
Farming in the often changeable MacKenzie Country, the Subtil's recognise diversification as an important step forward. Here they farm 7500 merino ewes supplying Icebreaker, in a longterm contract. They winter around 12,000 merino hoggets and have, for the last few years, been involved in the Silere program for merino meat, they also raise 300 grass fed beef cattle a year for a Japanese restaurant chain. As part of their business model they also produce and sell hydro electricity and are involved in tourism.
Farming in the middle of the South Island’s High Country it is easy for people to assume that the Subtil family are isolated but nothing could be further from the truth. Through their Bed & Breakfast business they meet lots of fascinating and interesting people, and believes that it is a real privilege to give them a small insight into how a functioning farm runs and see how captivated they are with what they try not to take for granted.
At other times Annabelle might be preparing for visitors, mustering cattle on horse back or planting trees and shrubs along waterways. The variety is endless for Annabelle, who describes herself as the “Impact player off the bench“.
"No two days are the same for me, with a variety of everyday jobs from secretary, pay role officer, chef, chamber maid, tour guide, gardener, general shepherd, feeding out contractor and many more roles. Very often I will get a phone call telling me to get around to the yards asap as they need an extra pair of hands to drench lambs or pen up etc… No complaints from me."
"I love the fact that we get the opportunity to work together as a family, in an amazing part of the world, in a business that has been in the family for three generations and is looking strong for the fourth."
We love the way that you and your family have embraced diversification Annabelle, while staying true to your high country station roots. You live in a special part of New Zealand and it's wonderful to be able to share it others, while maintaining a working farm. We all appreciate that the "impact player" is crucial in a great team, keep up the great work.