When a UK-born five-year old James Brady sat on the neighbour’s fence watching their dairy cows, a life-long passion was sparked, and he went on to own his first cow at age 11.
Fast forward some many years, and James’ dairy farm dreams have come to life at his own farm spanning 150ha owned and 20ha leased.
Audmore Dairy NZ Ltd is a family owned, operated and supported farm. The product of sheer determination and hard work, the judges were impressed by the unwavering commitment from all family involved with the business.
The Bradys’ philosophy and development plan strikes a hard-earned balance and sees nature and farm production working together. Through the scale and model of their operation, they can be profitable without compromising their environmental aspirations.
The farm has challenging soils, topography and climate; however, the Bradys are working with what they have, to farm in the best way possible. This involves milking three times, in two days, to maintain stock health; autumn calving to make the most of autumn/winter growth; and retiring unproductive land and protecting native bush and streams, which all contributes to a sustainable operation.
The judges were impressed by the scale of native bush retirement and headwater protection and the fact that all major waterways on the property are fenced off. The protection enhances and builds on existing biodiversity assets, including well-established beautiful forest. This supports the quality of water leaving the property and entering the Kaipara Harbour.
The Bradys’ big dream is a wintering barn and UK-style free stables and maintaining the healthy work life balance they have so far achieved by being integrally involved with their community. James is a senior firefighter and has recently taken on the role as station training coordinator and Judy is a volunteer medic – both crucial roles in a remote community where ambulance and help is more than 30 minutes away.
In a case of ‘good things take time’ James concedes he is still on a journey towards realising all his goals but that he was encouraged to enter the awards by a trusted advisor. “We were gobsmacked,” he says of being selected as a finalist. “We were really surprised and pleased and we enjoyed the visit from the judges and the chance to chat with them.”
Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards