established in 1972
Koanui Polled Herefords was founded in 1972 by Fred Chesterman and his wife the late Annette Chesterman. In the 1980’s and early 90’s, after completing secondary school education in New Zealand, their son Chris travelled regularly to North America and Australia with the goal of furthering his education in the area of selection of beef cattle and breeding. In 1992 Chris’s wife Jennifer joined the Koanui team coming from a role in bovine genetics and information management at Breedplan International in Australia. Nowadays, Chris and Jen have four children Hugh, Glen, Gerard and Allie.
Koanui is now the largest registered Polled Hereford herd in New Zealand. In 2019 we will calve 800 registered females. We sell around 300 bulls for breeding each year into the beef and dairy industries and sell semen and embryos around the world. We are regular importers of genetics from North America and Australia. In 2018 our annual on-property bull sale averaged a record NZ $12,300 for 63 rising two-year bulls. This was a pinnacle achievement and the result of years of selection, breeding and marketing.
Based in the Maraetotara Valley south-east of Havelock North in Hawkes Bay, the stud has expanded its land holdings over the years to include lands in the Manawatu and now the Wairarapa.
We farm over 1200 ha in the Maraetotara, 480 ha in the Manawatu and have recently purchased 107ha at Pahiatua. This spread of land holdings gives the stud climatic diversity which assists management in coping with adverse weather events.