Proud to be a Dairy Farmer

I have a bumper sticker on my car. It is the initiative of Dairy Womens Network, and looks great.

I represent the fifth generation of Dairy Farmers in my family to farm in this wonderful country of New Zealand. My Great Great Grandmother must have struggled being one of the first white women in the Inglewood area. My grand fathers struggled to develop their farms out of what was once fantastic native bush and swamp. It would have been great if less of our native resource was developed in this way, but neither they nor the regulators at the time would have considered this. 

They developed their farms to provide and income for their families and to help feed the world. Technology and machinery to help was virtually non-existent. The ability to care for the environment was probably not a priority, and even if it was there was not the technology to do this. Consequently for many years farm effluent went down drains, and factories were built beside rivers to 'flush' the nasties away.

We farm in the Hauraki Plains. An area which has a national protected resource in the Kopuata Peat Dome.

Technology and a concern about the environmental impact has meant that we are able, and most willing to reduce the harm done to the environment from our farming practices. The soil we farm on is able to convert any nitrates from urine into nitrogen gas and oxygen, so that none leaches into the water below.

We are able to provide a very good place for our cows to produce milk. Our children are well looked after and educated in our local community. Our staff are safe and well rewarded for their efforts. We take pride in having a farm that is as environmentally sustainable as current technology provides. 

As we do this, we also provide income for all New Zealanders, and would really appreciate it if our story could be told a little more positively. 

Posted: Monday 10 March 2014

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