Introducing the Emmerson family owners
The Emmerson Family has been associated with Forest Range Station since 1916 when George Bain Henderson, a musterer purchased the property and settled there permanently with his family until his death in 1966.
Russell Emmerson (the present owner) took over management of his grandfathers property at this stage and purchased it outright in 1975. Russell attended Lincoln College in 1968/69 gaining a Diploma in Agriculture. During this time he and Jeanette were married. In 1981 they were awarded the A. C. Cameron Memorial Award in recognition of the development work undertaken on their properties.
During their farming career the neighbouring properties of Breast Hill and Bargour have been purchased. They are similar terrain to Forest Range featuring extensive mountains and hills covered in exotic and native grasslands, fast flowing mountain streams and rivers.
Their family of Catherine, David and Anna are fourth generation on the property and have all played an active role in farming since childhood. David finished a Diploma at Lincoln University in June 1996 and owns 50% of the property, overseeing most of the enterprise. He has two young children.
Russell and David both have their helicopter licences to fly the company R22 helicopters for mustering sheep and associated farm tasks
Forest Range’s Property History
A Scottish pioneer, Jock McLean, discovered the Lindis Pass area with the help of a Maori guide in 1858. Grazing rights were taken up on a huge area of tussock grasslands in the centre of the South Island that Jock McLean named “Morven Hills”. The area is between the plains of the McKenzie basin and the rugged country of Central Otago.
There was a short period of gold mining activity about 1862 but since then the principle activity has been pastoral farming, mainly with Merino sheep. In 1910, the Morven Hills estate was split up for settlers releaseing the three blocks of Breast Hill, Forest Range and Bargour for purchase.
(+) Click on photos in the historical gallery below for larger view and slideshow