Maureen & Cliff Bayliss – Brookdell Estate

Maureen and Cliff have spent their whole life farming.  They married 51 years ago, and have three children, 7 grandchildren and so far, 10 great grandchildren!

They bought Brookdell farm at Te Uku (a 270ha dry stock farm) just outside Raglan, in 1981. They have spent 37 years nourishing the soil, and raising nutrient dense, healthy stock.  Lovers of the bush, and in an effort to support the environment they converted 150ha of land back into regenerate native bush.

The streams and waterways have been tested to show they are pristine clean and good enough to drink! Which is just as well as they have been drinking out of them for the past 37 years 😊

Maureen and Cliff continue to farm for the love of farming – the love of the land and their animals.  Farming like it’s forever….

Karen O’Kell & Wayne Douglas – Valley Farm

We farm a beautiful valley in Warkworth which enjoys a lot of native bush, streams, great soils and plenty of sunlight and rain.  The farm has been managed biologically for 15 years now and it gives so much joy to see the soil food web in good health and soil creatures large and small are found in abundance.  We work on the basis that if we look after the soil it will look after everything else.

We decided to farm this way after looking closely at the standard farming systems which were showing a decline in the health of soil, plants, animals and ultimately ourselves and we decided this wasn’t for us.  So our journey began and when we looked, we found farmers worldwide adopting green methods and changing their focus, from factory style management to caring loving regenerative management, and this just felt right for us.

We are only caretakers passing through this valley and we share it in equal measure with all the other creatures who are also just passing through, cattle, birds, insects, soil flora and fauna and we make big efforts to ensure the things we do only enhance their lives and we do this by planting habitats for them and planting trees and shrubs which feed and shade them. The land we choose not to use for farming we allow to go to wilderness and the bio diversity has exploded as a result.

It’s easy to be kind and thoughtful and there are many many farmers around the world adopting this more rewarding way of life, we’re just one of them.

Valley Farm ‘community focused agriculture – nourished by nature’

Frans Janssen – Osment Dairy Goats

I am a commercial dairy goat farmer in the Cambridge Waikato area and I farm with a passion regarding pasture and soil. We farm with a firm belief that biological farming is the way of the future.

Our philosophy is about looking after the land and it will look after you.

Here at our farm, we made a conscious decision about what we eat, therefore we chose not to use chemicals on our stock or the land, instead we use 100% natural compost.

Our pasture is a mix of herbal lay, the composting method we use on the soil produces healthy volumes of pasture this improves animal health and production.

The cattle we raise on our farm are reared in paddocks with space and shelter areas, we keep a low stocking rate as this means less impact on the pasture, and improved beef from the individual animal.

Jeff Graham & Cuiqin Xu’s – Never For Get

My health has made me realise chemicals and farming are not a good mix.  I have been farming biologically for 16 years, during which time, I have owned a dairy goat operation that won several awards for our cheeses in NZ and we did the top productions ever done in NZ.  Using our own compost, I have been able to balance my soils (where good quality food starts) increase production, and grow diverse herbal lay pastures of 12 different types, this is like a salad which my stock love and are much healthier on them.

I have been involved with the environment farming awards, which has put me in contact with other like-minded people, and continue to farm my small farm at Cambridge using biological farming practices.  I raise mostly Canadian speckle park cattle that are known for their good marbling, and from time to time, have various other animals that decide to make their homes on the property (meet Zoey the fallow deer who believes her right of place is the living room and not outside in a paddock!)