Link Farm consists of four blocks of land within a 40-minute radius around the Manawatu. The deer finishing block is situated in Halcombe and the day-to-day running is done by Rex Williams, Stock Manager. Link Farm also has a free draining river block, which is used for wintering cattle and cropping, and two blocks on the outskirts of Palmerston North, used for sheep, beef and cropping.
A strength of Link Farm is the ability to increase land sustainability through utilising land to the best of its ability and matching stock policies to land type depending on weather e.g. in wet weather heavy stock is moved to the free draining river block to avoid pugging.
Integral to the whole operation is Scott Linklater, who three years ago returned from his OE. Since then he has taken over the reins as Operational Manager for Link Farm, allowing his father Ross to dedicate more time to his busy schedule as a Palmerston City Councillor and Director of Farmlands (a New Zealand rural supplies business).
First Light appealed to Link Farm due to being a co-ordinated marketing approach that then links well with the production. They like the team effort and feel the gains far outweigh what an individual can achieve “A team approach irons out the highs and lows”. They also appreciate the supply and pricing structure that First Light offers as it allows them to take a more planned and strategic approach to the business “We know what we’re going to get, which allows us to better produce well farmed, high quality meat.”
For Ross nothing beats a “beautifully cooked venison steak on the BBQ”. For Scott this means “just seared — not too cooked”. Either way you’ll know the venison you’re eating will have “quality assurance of a very high standard throughout the whole operation”.