A bright and early start this morning through the winding hills of the Waikato region.
Four industry leader farms were on the cards for the day. The farms were a diverse range of sizes and structures from owner operator to fifty-fifty share, equity partnership with a 22 percent share to own and lease arrangements. Each farmer that we spoke to had progressed from nothing to a thriving successfully managed and profitable business.
Image caption: Interesting feedpad innovation
The overwhelming positive for the day was the energy and the planning that the farmers used to succeed in driving their businesses forward. They achieved a huge amount of growth in short periods of time using business planning models and meetings with all stakeholders to come up with plans that were beneficial to all involved.
Image caption: A lot of cross breed herds
Contrary to our expectations, we learnt that labour issues in New Zealand are very similar to ours. Farmers have difficulties finding staff and use overseas labour to help overcome the shortage. The public perception of the dairy industry is also an issue in New Zealand affecting both staff availability and environmental control changes on farm.
Image caption: plantain crop
The takehome message from the day was that there is a need to stay driven to achieve success. The enthusiasum from these farmers helped to uplift the group to question our own paths.
Image caption: very inspiring visit with Chris Lewis from Federated Farmers of NZ