Greenbank Pastoral’s farm is situated in the heart of Central Otago, in the Maniototo , an area renown for its hot ,dry summers and “crisp” winters – an ideal environment for producing the worlds best grass fed beef.
In 1876 James Herlihy, who had been a miner on the nearby Hamiltons gold field , bought 79 Ha when the then vast Hamiltons Station was broken up. James and Cate Herlihy , the fifth generation now farm 1300 ha.
With only a natural annual rainfall of 360mm, irrigation is the cornerstone of the operation with over ¾ of the property under some form of irrigation, the majority applied by six center pivots . Irrigation ensures quality grass 365 days a year , vital to supplying quality Wagyu cross beef to the Firstlight Foods marketing program.
The farm ( Greenbank Pastoral Ltd ) is run as 3 units, 2 dairy farms milking in total 1600 cows and a grazing unit that winters all the dairy cows , runs the young dairy replacement stock and operates a beef fattening unit, which includes the production of Wagyu grass feed beef.
Wagyu semen is used on selected cows within the dairy herds, with the young calves raised in a dedicated beef calf rearing unit, before being weaned onto quality irrigated pasture.
Being part of a marketing chain where we as producers are closely linked with the purchaser of our product , was the catalyst for our becoming shareholders of the Firstlight Foods Producers group. We are totally supportive of the very high standards demanded by Firstlight to become suppliers, ensuring the product we present to customers is produced under the highest possible environmentally sustainable conditions where animal welfare is a prime consideration of our farming operation.