Farmer Blogs

Some of our farmers write blogs about their experiences on farm, their ups and downs and what they have learned. Have a read to keep up to date with what they have been doing in their farm businesses.

Noldy Rust

Hi. My name is Noldy Rust. My wife Bev and I bought our 200 cow dairy farm situated in the district of Te Pahu, western Waikato in 1996. We love the area for its location, natural beauty and suitability for dairy farming. We have been fortunate enough to have raised three girls, two of whom have left home (sort of) and one that can’t afford to yet…(poor uni student!). We still have our 10 year old foster boy Hayze at home, keeping us young at heart and involved with our local school, swimming club and other activities 10 year old boys get up to!

I have enjoyed farming all my life, in spite of only going farming when I left school because I didn’t know what else to do! We have enjoyed intensifying our system whilst endeavouring to keep it simple and profitable, so as to maximise any opportunities to be involved off farm in community related activities.

Read Noldy's blog...

John van der Goes

My wife Cathy and I own a 60ha dairy farm (plus a 30ha runoff) at Richmond Downs, close to Walton in the Waikato. We milk 160 cows on the home block and run replacements and make silage on the runoff.

Both of us were born and bred in Auckland, but we are almost locals now having been here for 30 plus years. I left school in Auckland to go dairy farming on a farm cadet scheme having spent school holidays working on a sheep and beef farm north of Auckland.

I call myself a lifestyle farmer; we go onto once-a-day milking at the start of January each year and try not to let the farm rule our lives too much.

We have two adult children, one teaching and the other at uni.

I enjoy most sports and have recently taken up cycling (when time allows). I have managed to get around Taupo and done a number of cycle trails. Also, I enjoy singing, have been in a few shows and sing in the Matamata Christmas Choir.

I have been on the SMASH committee for a couple of years and enjoy letting people know that big is not always beautiful.

Read Johns's blog...

Brian Frost

Hi, my name is Brian Frost. My wife Bridget and I are not from farming backgrounds but I found my way into the industry after growing up in Auckland and always knowing I wanted to be farming. I spent two and a half years in the cadet scheme and completed a Diploma of Agriculture at Massey University. I then moved to the South Island and contract milked on the Taieri Plains for six years.

I then went 50:50 sharemilking and in 1989 bought a 73ha farm (with 50ha runoff) on the Taieri Plains, milking 200 cows. I bought more land and in 1995 met Bridget in Auckland. We got married and spent three more seasons at Taieri before selling up in 1999.

We have four children (Mitchel, 17; Siobhan, 16; Stafford, 14; and Devon, 12) and enjoy being part of our community.

Read Brian's blog...

Trent Guy

Hi, my name is Trent Guy. My wife Aimee and I, along with our four children Damien, Charlie, Tobie and Sophie, farm a 123 effective dairy farm in Northland near Parakao up the Mangakahia Valley. I am currently a board member on the Kokopu School BOT and I also do a small AB run for LIC.

We purchased two farms side by side at the start of the 2013/14 season and began the task of developing two farms into one 280-300cow unit. Of the 123ha there is 60ha of floodable river flats, 30ha of non floodable flats and 33ha of gentle rolling land. We’re also able to irrigate 60ha of that with long lateral sprinklers.

We run a medium input system with all maize grown on-farm, and feed on the covered feed pad that we built in May/June of this year.

I have many goals, two of them are:
1. To breed a herd of cows that will produce 1.5 times their body weight in milk solids and to do so profitably (production is vanity, profit is sanity!!)
2. To lift the total DM grown on farm to 18tonne!

I have many more goals so you will have to keep reading along each month and they will come out here and there along the way.

So now I can see you sitting there thinking what drives and inspires me, well, my wife tells me I’m a perfectionist, so I like things to be done well, but the main thing that pushes/drives me is a love of dairy farming and family. Remember it’s not always peaches and cream, but if you do a job you love you will never work a day of your life!

Read Trent's blog...