Doug Avery

Brief Bio.

Doug Avery manages Bonavaree Farm with his family at Grassmere, South Marlborough. The farm has been owned by the Avery family since 1919 so they have a deep understanding of the land and how it is shaped by the weather. The family won the 2010 'South Island Farmer of The Year' competition for their work adapting farm management systems in response to increasingly dry conditions. Doug was Chairman of the Starborough/Flaxbourne Soil Conservation Group working with NZ Landcare Trust. The success of this innovative work has attracted both national and international attention.



In 1998 successive droughts had Bonavaree Farm and the Avery family unsure of the future. Existing farming methods were degrading land and failing to pay the bills. New plants, animals, systems and thinking were employed in an effort to create better outcomes for both family and farm. Today the Avery family has a completely new experience of life as the farm grows from strength to strength. Every year environmental projects are undertaken and financial performance soars. “No problem is solved from the same consciousness in which it was created.” The story of moving Bonavaree “Beyond Reasonable Drought.” 


Conference Presentation. Beyond Reasonable Drought: How do Farmers Create Resilient Businesses?