Meat the Future panellist
Managing Director, Palliser Ridge Farm
Kurt Portas manages Palliser Ridge, a sheep and beef station located in Pirinoa, South Wairarapa. Kurt has been on Palliser Ridge for 13 years with wife Lisa and has two sons, Beauden and Axel.
Prior to Palliser Ridge, Kurt was a Smedley Cadet and his first shepherding role was in the deep south in Gore.
Kurt took on the management role at Palliser Ridge aged 23. Five years into management Kurt created self-equity in the land within Palliser Ridge and is now a director of the Overall Business.
He has grown the business from 8,000 stock units to 17,000 stock units, which comprises of leased and freehold land. While at Palliser Ridge Kurt has increased his education by completing a Lincoln Diploma in Agriculture via correspondence as well as a Sustainable Nutrient Management Course at Massey University.
Kurt, together with Lisa, has turned Palliser Ridge into a recognisable brand that sells quality lamb, beef, wool products and offers a range of tourism ventures.
Kurt was a member of the Tri Lamb Young Leader group, put together by Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd that travelled through North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kurt is now on the Beef + Lamb Farmer Council for the Eastern North Island.
In 2019 the Palliser Ridge Team won the Supreme Greater Wellington Environmental Awards.
Kurt has a passion for making the farm better than it was yesterday with a focus on regenerative agriculture.
To continue to improve Palliser Ridge, people are the most important piece of that puzzle according to Kurt.
Having benefitted from opportunities himself, Kurt is extremely passionate about giving people a start in agriculture. He has taken on Taratahi and Work Experience or Gateway students for the first 10 years of his reign at Palliser Ridge, and more recently supports the Growing Future Farmers Initiative by having two cadets on farm full time.