February 28, 2021
Papatuanuku the driver for Ahuwhenua finalist
The chair of a Bay of Plenty trust in the running for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for dairy farming says it is driven by doing what’s right for Papatuanuku rather than chasing top-line profits.
Tataiwhetu Trust has found it can do both as its Ruatoki Valley farm has won awards for both protecting biodiversities and consistently producing high-quality milk.
Paki Nikora says when he took the role as chair 12 years ago the farm hosted a sharemilker who was milking 600 cows two times a day all year round, with no rest for the cows or the land.
"When I took it over I decided to go in the opposite way and we downsized to 400 (cows), went back to once a day milking and back to seasonal milking. Through that transition, by the second year with only 400 cows we beat the other fellow's production," he says.
Six years ago Tataiwhetu Trust shifted to organic production, and in recent months it has taken over another organic farm.
An open day will be held on the farm on April 1, and the winner of the award will be announced in New Plymouth in May.
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