Day 5 – Banks, Breeding and Better Weather Ahead

Day 5 adventures started off visiting our first herringbone shed of the tour. Circle Hill Farm is owned by 8 shareholders and considers itself as a low input farm, milking just over 520 cross bred cows. A new idea that no one in our group had seen in place before was crushed up coal on the laneways to help reduce the amount of lame cows, this is an issue that the dairy industry continues to face with herd sizes increasing. Due to the pleasant weather conditions we were able to walk amongst the cows in Glenn’s herd. It was a great farm to visit.

Glenn had just resurfaced his tracks with ground coal.

The group take the opportunity of a break in the weather to examine Glenn’s herd of Kiwi-Cross cattle.

Our next stop was the Invercargill Rabo Bank branch, who generously provided a delicious display of food for our appetites. Throughout the meeting with 3 Rabo Bank representatives we discussed all sorts of matters including land price, splitting equity equally amongst families and siblings, as well as discussing the support that the bank provides to farmers. It was a great way for the group to get a raw insight to the financial side to farming.

Rabobank discuss some of the challenges facing local farmers.

This afternoon’s events consisted of visiting the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC); greeted by Tracy Ashton who had arranged a video skype call with Joyce Voogt and Charlotte Gray who are based in Hamilton, representing LIC. They represent 12,000 shareholders as well as exporting products to over 40 countries across the world. Employing 700 full time staff members year round and at their seasonal peak an additional 1000 staff members will join LIC. 70% of New Zealand’s dairy herds are currently tested through their services. Many discussions took place and all were very beneficial to those involved.

The crew pick the brains of LIC experts Joyce and Charlotte.

The final event for day 5 was joining the Young Farmers Group from Wyndham over dinner. A special thanks to Nicole Hammond from Dairy NZ as well as Hadleigh Gernann whom represented Federated Farmers NZ for inviting us to come along. Hadleigh and Michael Farmer were the speakers for the night, making it enjoyable and engaging for all. We would like to thank all of the young farmers whom participated in this evenings events. The UDV representatives enjoyed interacting with like minded young farmers in the New Zealand farming industry, another great day was had by all.
– Ashlee Bloxidge & Sharnie Johnson

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