David Neumann and Ashlee Crane of Rocklea Farms


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2024 Northland Finalist: David Neumann and Ashlee Crane of Rocklea Farms – Dairy

Rocklea Farms has undergone a transformation which has resulted in it becoming a highproducing operation with a light environmental footprint.  
David Neumann and Ashlee Crane have put significant time and effort into the 147ha Whakapara property. Meticulous planning means they are now able to spend more time with their young family, while enjoying the benefits of a sustainable operation. 
They purchased the property in 2017 and run 380 pedigree Jersey cows on the 125ha effective dairy platform and three additional run-offs. They have transformed what was a run-down, poorperforming property into a profitable farming business that derives 95% of income from milk production. 
Their overall goal is to have a high-end, productive and respected pedigree Jersey herd that efficiently produces milk while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is already being achieved thanks to a strong focus on improving animal genetics to ultimately develop productive and healthy animals. 
Driven by an ambitious vision and four-year strategy, they have overseen significant upgrades to the farm’s infrastructure. This includes the dairy shed, and new outbuildings, fences and gateways. They’ve also installed a new water reticulation and effluent irrigation system, and redeveloped races, culverts and pastures. 
More than 5km of waterways and drains have been fenced and more than 27,000 native trees planted along riparian corridors. This is complemented by effective weed and pest control, and the planting of exotics to mitigate erosion. 
The couple’s personal growth reflects that of the property. They’ve each overcome significant challenges which has ultimately contributed to their success on-farm, and also as emerging leaders within the industry.  
The transformation of Rocklea Farms is a testament to David and Ashlee’s genuine commitment to the environment and wider industry. They are proud custodians of the land, ensuring it will be well preserved for future generations.

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