Mack Lynn likes people and he likes to talk.
The Northland sheep and beef farmer says he honed his talking skills when he worked as a stock agent in the Waikato after leaving school – and these skills have stood him in good stead.
Farming in what he describes as paradise on the outskirts of Paihia in the Bay of Islands, Mack says tourists will often pop in and ask him about the farm and he is more than happy to show them around and act as ambassador and advocate for New Zealand farming.
Mack, along with George Macmillan, has been appointed a Beef + Lamb New Zealand Future Leader and will represent this country at the International Beef Alliance conference in Canada in September.
As well as meeting new people, Mack is looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the challenges facing the sector and seeing how other beef producers are viewing threats such as those from synthetic proteins.
“I’d like to meet some knowledgeable people and find out what to worry about, what not to worry about, and what the future might hold.”
From a personal point of view, Mack has a vested interest in the prosperity of the beef industry.
Farming in partnership with his brother, the pair run around 2000 cattle (bull beef) across three farms finishing around 700 every year. The balance is sold to finishers in the Waikato with whom they have a close relationship.
Running intensive techno grazing systems, Mack says they focus on liveweight gain per hectare and generating a profit rather than just finishing cattle.
“We need to maximise profit but we also need to enjoy it and take pride in what we do.”
Mack and his brother have been farming in partnership since they were young boys growing up on the family farm in the Waikato.
He says they were always rearing and finishing calves or embarking on some other enterprise.
“That passion for farming was evident from a very early age.”
Mack and his father were the first to break away from the Waikato, initially farming on the North Cape. They have since sold that property and the whole family now live and farm within short distances of each other near Paihia.
The properties Mack and his brother farm in partnership are 40 minutes apart but are run as a single entity. Totalling 900ha, the cattle platform covers 550ha across both farms.
Mack says the techno-system, which they have been operating for five years, suits their mathematical brain and methodical nature. Running 85 essentially isolated systems means they can do on-farm trials to determine what pastures and management work best for them.
“You can try out a whole lot of things.
“We don’t have 20-years of experience, we’ve crammed it all into five years and while not everything went well, we have found out what appealed to both of us.
“It’s fast-tracked our learning.”
Off-setting this intensive system, the brothers also run deer in a 50ha block and sheep on areas unsuitable for the bulls.
Along with his partner, Mack rears 1000 calves every year, sourcing them out of dairy herds. He says Mycoplasma bovis will mean the relationships he has with the buyers and sellers they work with will be even more important to protect all of their businesses.
About the International Beef Alliance
The International Beef Alliance (IBA) represents the beef producing organisations of seven of the world’s largest beef producers and exporters. They are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay and New Zealand. Overall the members represent around 63 percent of global trade in beef.
The Alliance provides a platform to address issues of importance to all seven members such as trade liberalisation, developing sustainable farming systems and engaging effectively with young leaders to build a strong and profitable global beef industry.
A recent example of IBA collaboration was making on submission on the EU proposal to split WTO tariff rate quotas, a proposal that is of significant commercial interest to IBA Members.
The submission outlined how splitting the quotas would compromise the quality and quantity of quotas. It encouraged the EU to approach this task in the spirit of greater trade liberalization and work with trading partners to come to a mutually beneficial solution that overcomes these challenges.