5 May 1996
Luke Copeland – Farm Manager Te Akau Stud
Luke Copeland is an integral part of the Te Akau Stud team and has been for over 18 years.
Luke moved to Te Akau when he was just a young boy – “It all began when my family moved into Te Akau when I was five years old. I’m just about a local now, I have been here in the area for 34 years and have been working at Te Akau Stud for 18 of them”
His can do attitude is one that can’t go unnoticed for the team at the stud, nothing is ever a problem – if something needs to be done at 5am on a Sunday morning he will be out there doing it.
Luke during his time at Te Akau has been involved with some of the great names through Te Akau Stud, including King’s Chapel and Darci Brahma just to name a few.
“That was a memorable moment for me – seeing David purchase Darci Brahma, the first million-dollar horse he purchased. I led him off the truck and down the road to his paddock and watched his first stakes’ win at Matamata (I made a lot of money that day!). I was here throughout his whole career, before he was eventually sold to stud. That must be one of the most memorable moments for me during my time at the stud.
While I was working with the horses, I also looked after a mob of 100 bulls – that is all we ran up the back of the block we call Peter Hall’s. The farm was predominately racehorses back then. We only had a couple of steers and a few ewes to tidy up the paddocks after the horses had been through”
“As the farm grew, so did the amount of cattle we had, and it soon got to the point where I could not work with both the horses and the stock. I made the decision to move to full time stock work, but I am still very much involved with horses when needed. I’m always on-hand to help, whether it is loading or unloading horses or walking them out to their new paddocks”
“We now have over 2000 head of cattle, give or take and it is a great balance between horses and stock. I am always up for a challenge, and that is why I have stuck to farming. The lightbulb moment also came to me was when I found out that I was going to become a father, and I knew instantly that I wanted my children to be raised in the country. I have two children, Savannah (10) and Kade (6) with my beautiful wife, Melissa and there is no place better to raise them than right here on the farm”
“I’m proud of the farm Te Akau Stud has become. Just seeing the difference of when our rising one steers first arrive on the farm to when they leave for Greenlea as beasts and topping our weight records is very satisfying. It also helps that David has a fertiliser fetish as that allows us to grow the quality of stock that we do, and no expense is spared when it comes to developing the farm. That is a very rare attitude to have when it comes to most farmers, and it makes my job easier. Over the last 20 years, I have seen many people come and go from all walks of life here at the stud, and that is a great quality about David – he always gives everyone a chance”
Luke is a valued member of the Te Akau community – loves fishing and hunting and is a superb local rugby rep!! His wife Melissa also dedicates alot of her time and energy to many local activities and organisations including the local playcentre and the primary school.
Luke won the the “Te Akau Personality of the Year” in 2016 award which is awarded by our district at a major dinner each year. Luke received his award for services to the Te Akau Rugby team.