Family has long history on land

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The view from here... Marilyn and George Redditt at the back of their 370 hectare farm. PHOTO JENNY DILLNER

The Redditt family has owned land in Tapanui since 1903.

George Redditt bought a 6.474ha block in that year, where he, his wife and children milked cows by hand.

Grandson George, son of Les Redditt (the youngest son of George sen’s five children), said his father and his siblings had to milk the cows before school.

“That was up until 1953, when the cans stopped being collected at the gate. That was when they stopped milking the cows.”

Over the years, more land was bought.

“The acreage has increased, and today we have 370 hectares.”

These days, Mr Redditt and his wife Marilyn have been stepping back and letting their son Richard take over the reins, making him the fourth generation of the family to farm the land.

“We are happy to help, but are also pursuing other interests,” Mrs Redditt said.

Mr Redditt said he had a keen interest in regenerative farming.

“I am interested and want to find out more information about the worldwide trend.

“The healthier the soil, the healthier the stock, the food and in turn we, the humans.

“It makes sense.”

In 2008, there was an attempt to achieve a world record in self-laying tracks, organised by the West Otago Vintage Club.

“We had 515 tractors from all over New Zealand in a 7.5 hectare paddock, each pulling a 1 leaf harrow, all working at the same time.

“It was a spectacular sight.

“Sadly, the event did not make the Guinness World Records.”

Farming had developed greatly, Mr Redditt said.

“Lambing percentages have increased 50%-60% on what they were 50 years ago, and carcass weights have also increased.

“If we want to proceed we have to continually do our own study. These days it is much more complex.”

They loved living on the farm, and having close access to Tapanui, Mr Redditt said.

“It is a wonderful lifestyle, all thanks to Grandfather George.”