Riverslea Trust is made up of three blocks. The breeding unit (260ha) is under the Ruahine Ranges where it is summer safe and the two finishing blocks (202 and 93ha) are on flat to rolling country where it is warmer in the winter. We run 700 breeding hinds and finishing all of the fawns as well as running finishing cattle and breeding ewes. On all properties trees are being planted in an ongoing programme to provide shelter, shade and erosion control.

The farm is operated on a day to day basis by Richard and Emma on the breeding unit and Nick and Jane (Richard’s parents) on the finishing units. When major tasks are being undertaken everyone helps.

We joined First Light because we like the way we, as farmers, could have input further than just the farm gate. It also gives us stable pricing that we can use for planning, and we like the more direct feedback from First Light consumers.

The Lawson’s like to cook the fillets whole.  First searing it on the hot plate and then in a super hot oven wrapped in tin foil for 10 mins and then left to rest. Serve in slices on mashed potato, with roasted winter vegetables and a hunter sauce (an old family recipe of red wine and crab apple jelly).