When Roel and Diana Wobben arrived from Holland 26 years ago with very little, they could not have imagined that they would end up living on their 600 ha dairy farm with three sons Carlo, Rick and Dylan and milking 1,800 Friesian cows per day.
Fraser McGougan and his wife Katherine live on their 147 ha Willowvale farm in Taneatua which has been in Fraser’s family since 1898. Five years ago, they purchased the land from his parents and are currently milking 430 crossbreed cows with a total production of 160,000 kg of milksolids per annum.
Joe and Jenima Foster were living in the city when they made the decision that they wanted to start a family and have a rural lifestyle for their children.
Farming in the Tasman district of the upper South Island is no easy feat because of the extreme weather. It has hot dry summers and early autumn frosts and, as Phil Riley has learned, you need to be prepared for anything the climate can throw at you.
Waikato farmers Rex and Sharon Butterworth were the Waikato regional winners of the 2015 Dairy Business of the Year. The couple also won the Business Resilience Award, which was given to the farm with the lowest cost of production.
When Jared Whittfield says he lives on the family farm - he really means it. He lives there with his wife Francine and their five children ranging from 13 years down to 18 months. The 250 ha farm is situated in Moutoa (midway between Shannon and Foxton) where he milks just over 1000 Friesian cows producing around 500,000 kg MS annually.
Mark Bernard is the kind of farmer who likes certainty in his life. When he engages in his favourite hobby of fishing he sets off from his farm near Puketatua and goes straight to the mussel farms off the coast of the Bay of Plenty. There he does what he calls “gathering in the snapper”, pretty much always coming home with a good feed. It is this same desire for a top result that drives him to use farming systems with proven outcomes.
Summer holidays on a farm near Warkworth in the 1970’s sparked an interest which has led to a 34 year farming career for Hawke’s Bay farmer Kevin Davidson.
About 20 km inland from Otorohanga is the tiny settlement of Maihiihi which is home to Luke Edwards and his family. Luke is a 20% partner in his family's farm which he manages along with two full time staff. It consists of 220 ha of dairy, another 20 ha of pine, 12 ha for maize and some native bush.
Waikato farmer Tim Montgomerie’s philosophy is to maximise pasture harvest and then use low cost supplements to fully feed his cows.
Maize silage is an integral part of a successful dairy farm system for David and Sue Forsythe. The couple, who milk a split-calving Friesian x Jersey herd on 185 hectares (eff) south of Te Awamutu, have been feeding maize silage for 22 years and are convinced of the crops benefits both as a quality supplement and as an important part of their pasture renewal programme.
On-farm maize growing allows Taranaki couple Karl and Rachel Picard to produce a high quality, low cost supplement while at the same time reducing the build-up of excessive soil nutrients.
Maize silage, hay and pasture form the basis for a diet which has seen the number of clinical milk fever cases in Scott and Leone EvansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ herd drop from 100-200 cows to less than 10 each year.
Maize silage is helping West Coast farmers Craig and Louise Fayen get their herd through to calving in top condition, delivering production, cow fertility and financial benefits.
A once-a-day dairy farm system has allowed Marlborough farmer Nigel Morrison the chance to pursue his other passion of running an agricultural contracting business which operates throughout one of the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most scenic regions.
A combination of irrigation, maize silage and split calving have helped south Taranaki farmer Alastair Geary increase production on his summer-dry south Taranaki farm. The 180 ha property located at Manutahi, midway between Hawera and Patea is managed by Alistair with assistance from variable order sharemilkers Nick and Anna Tretheway. In the 2012-13 season the 460 cow Friesian and Friesian-cross herd produced 218,000 kgMS (473 kgMS/cow and 1,211 kgMS/ha).
The purchase of a 65 ha farm at Tomarata, east of Wellsford was the realisation of a lifetime dream for Northland farmers Carl and Glennis Flintoff. Now the couple are focused on profitably increasing per cow production.
Contract growing maize has allowed Waikato couple Murray Frith and Chrissie Ryder to enjoy their rural lifestyle without the tie of milking cows.
A desire to always feed their cows well has led Taranaki farmers Steve and Maria Poole to develop a highly profitable pasture-based dairy system which is underpinned by 800 kgDM/ cow of Pioneer® brand maize silage.
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