Coastal Wairarapa is a long way from the fringes of New York City, but for Emily Crofoot she wouldn’t have it any other way. Brought up on a family farm on the outskirts of New York, Emily’s love of New Zealand began with her first visit in 1973. After spending six months in NZ, helping on different sheep and beef farms in 1975, she then applied to study agriculture at Lincoln College in 1976, but wasn’t successful. Undeterred, she continued to apply herself to farming even completing a shearing course in Tolaga Bay in 1981 and a cattle artificial breeding course in the US in the late 70’s. New Zealand was the place of choice for their honeymoon when in 1987 she brought husband, Anders, an IT consultant, to New Zealand for his first visit.
Later, New Zealand would be the country where Emily and her family would call home when in 1998 the couple purchased Castlepoint Station, a large coastal hill country property 60km east of Masterton. Making the move to the other side of the world with their two young children, they set about improving the farm and immersing themselves in a wide range of industry and community-good activities.
“It was always my dream to farm in New Zealand, as I saw New Zealand farmers as some of the best and most innovative in the world. The temperate climate and economic drivers allow farmers to respond to market signals and readily implement these on farm”
With overall responsibility for the stock and the team managing the farm on their 3750 ha property, Emily has found pastoral agriculture to be an exciting and rewarding career. Having complementary skills to Anders, the couple have carved out a successful formula for managing a property with an unforgiving climate as they have continued to strive for improvement and a high performing farming system. They have invested heavily in the farm since they bought it, while continuously working to increase stock performance within the constraints of the environment. This approach saw Castlepoint Station win the Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the year in 2012.
While developing closer marketing links through to end consumers has always been a high priority, Emily believes that farming is all about people and relationships. Emily’s family legacy of seven generations farming Braewold, in NY state, has made her a big believer in being responsible stewards of the land and giving back to the community. This philosophy has continued at Castlepoint.
Renowned for having industry best practice around farm management, governance, HR, Health and Safety, animal health protocols and implementation, Emily’s contribution to the agri-sector has seen her involved with numerous community groups and also in many industry initiatives, especially around the promotion of wool. Castlepoint Station is regularly made available as a trial-site for new industry initiatives and innovations. Recognising her service to the governance, planning and execution of many extension activities, trials and research programmes for the New Zealand sheep industry, Emily was recently honoured with a special award from Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
Emily’s positivity about the agricultural industry is infectious and she has always been willing to give things a go. Even wrestling with multiple sclerosis for the last 16 years has not slowed her enthusiasm. Continuing to guide Castlepoint Station to achieve to the highest standard, her passion and commitment to farming and the New Zealand agri-sector is an inspiration to many.