Josh Millard of Pāmu Farms of New Zealand – Tongariro Dairy Unit

17/07/2022

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2022 Finalists: Josh Millard of Pāmu Farms of New Zealand – Tongariro Dairy Unit

The farm manager behind this Moutoa dairy farm is embracing a commitment to guardianship and sustainability of the land and animals, including a shift toward producing organic milk.

Tongariro is part of the Pāmu Farms of New Zealand suite of properties and Josh Millard embraces the Pāmu philosophy of putting the care of land and animals first. He feels privileged to be working with a company that encourages its people to experiment with different ideas.

Josh entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a way of comparing the property with the wider industry and learning new ways of future-proofing it.

A recent change in direction means Tongariro is moving from conventional farming to producing organic milk. This meant changing the 207ha farm’s reproduction management system, and trialling alternative pasture species that work for both land and animals. Josh’s goal is to feed the cows on grass all year round, supported as needed by fresh crops grown on-farm.

In 2020, 630 cows were milked at Tongariro, producing 243,000kg of milk solids. As they move to the organic system, stock numbers will be reduced to 450, with a target of 450kg of milk solids per cow.

Team engagement and succession planning is another key focus for Josh as he strives to support the health and wellbeing of those working on the farm.

In terms of sustainability, a wide range of initiatives have been implemented, including the careful management of water, soil and nutrients. Greenhouse gas emissions are closely monitored and are reducing thanks to the shift to organics and careful business planning.

Josh sees Tongariro as his playground and, as he looks to the future, he plans to continue enhancing and protecting its biodiversity so it can be enjoyed by future generations.

 

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