Regional Supreme Winners 2023: Andrew and Vicky Booth of Jade Dairies – Dairy
Sharing their passion for farming by involving local schools is a winning formula for Andrew and Vicky Booth as they strive to achieve their environmental goals.
The Booths are helping to bridge the urban-rural divide by working with schools to get 2,000 native plants into the ground each year. This partnership is providing a positive influence for the school children as they learn about looking after their environment.
Their philosophy is to educate and share knowledge with their community, while also focusing on creating a dairy farm with long-term resilience. In addition to the work with schools, Andrew is a Dairy NZ Climate Change Ambassador, and involved with the Dairy Environmental Leaders Group and Northland Dairy Development Trust.
Over three generations, significant work has gone into creating a farm that is both environmentally and economically sustainable. Highlights include creating a new wetland area, active pest management, and preserving natural areas of native bush – encouraging the return of endangered native birds.
The new wetland, combined with an existing wetland area, naturally filters 90% of water leaving the farm. The couple is aiming to have zero impact on surrounding freshwater, so the farm is run with careful use of nutrients and a good understanding of high-risk areas.
Being aware of the potential impacts of climate change means the Booths are striving to reduce their overall carbon footprint by decreasing carbon emissions and increasing sequestration.
When it comes to animal health, ample shelter provides shade for the cows. There’s a strong focus on developing key animal traits, helping the Booths produce stock that are well suited to their specific land conditions.
Looking to the future, the Booths want to maintain production while further reducing inputs – all while continuing to care for the land with the help of their wider community.
Andrew and Vicky are the winners of the DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award, Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award, NZFET Climate Recognition Award, Northland Regional Council Water Quality Enhancement Award and Northland Regional Supreme Winner 2023.
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