Case Studies

Boosted by SMASH Events

Boosted by SMASH Events

Leanne and Zane Crosby have been small scale 50/50 sharemilkers for 13 seasons, and now farm 240 cows on 80 ha in the Gordonton area.
Through their 23 years of partnership they have enjoyed working as a team, and providing a stable rural lifestyle for their three sons, one of whom is now at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre gaining more rural skills.

They have always been aware of the pressure to go bigger, and have had many people advise them big numbers were the only route to buying a farm. But they were not prepared to forego their work/life balance and have resisted taking the large herd option.
For some time they felt “undervalued and invisible” in the dairy industry, and immediately recognised they wanted to be part of SMASH when they heard about it 3 years ago, and attended the first conference.

They have been inspired and heartened to meet other farmers who have similar values and attitudes, and find attending various events always gives them a boost to carry on. Before joining SMASH they had seriously considered leaving the industry, but now can see they want to stay and do have a role to play for their own goals, and the wider good.

What have they gained from SMASH events?
Following Mel Eden and Josh Wheeler’s Milksmart session at the 2012 conference, they carried out a shed evaluation and minor changes have reduced milking times by 15 minutes/milking.

Allie Mooney’s session on personality types gave Leanne and Zane greater insight into their own personalities and those of people they meet, adding a new dimension to good communication and understanding.

After attending a SMASH once-a-day field day in 2011, they now use OAD milking strategically, currently milking the colostrum mob OAD.

They find the impartial information from speakers and open group discussion at meetings highly valuable. At one meeting Ciaran Tully’s information on contracts and options and the resulting group discussion allowed them to consider new ideas and possibilities.

Another meeting led them to put aside investing in an equity partnership for now. Knowing what they don’t want is valuable too.

They find SMASH events are good places to network with owners who may need a sharemilker in the future, and who share similar values. They value the chance to get off farm for a day, connect with other like-minded farmers, share a simple lunch, and still be home in time to milk and meet the school bus.