Regional Supreme Winners 2023: Greg and Gail Mitchell of Mitchell Dairy Farms – Dairy
Greg and Gail Mitchell have transformed a rundown property to the high-performing dairy unit it is today – while reducing its environmental footprint at the same time.
The couple is behind Mitchell Dairy Farms which spans 525ha (460ha effective).
They started dairy farming in 1996 and formed the current business seven years later. In 2014, they relocated to Patoka to oversee the redevelopment of High Road Dairy farm. They now milk 1,550 cows that produce an average of 600,000kg of milk solids per year.
The Mitchells also own another dairy farm 10kms away where 900 cows are milked. The cows across both properties are wintered on-site, with the young stock grazed off-farm.
Under the guidance of Greg and Gail, High Road Dairy has gone from being rundown to a highly productive dairy unit, using an approach that balances profitability with caring for the environment.
A huge amount of work has gone into its transformation and the Mitchells enjoy seeing its weed-free pastures and the trees they have planted.
Significant investment has gone into infrastructure improvements, including restoring a 1950s wool shed so it now houses an office and accommodation. A new effluent management system has also been installed, including a weeping wall that uses gravity to separate effluent solids.
Soil testing and targeted fertiliser application supports the growth of healthy and productive pasture in every paddock. Animals are well cared for and the Mitchells also put a lot of time and effort into looking after the wellbeing of their staff.
Greg and Gail entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a way of showing others how they have grown their business into what it is today. They have achieved this by benchmarking themselves against others in the industry – a strategy that has also enabled them to meet new people and build a strong network of likeminded farmers.
Greg and Gail are the winners of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award, DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award, Norwood Farming Efficiency Award, Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award, East Coast Regional Supreme Winner 2023.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards