2022 Finalist: Stu and Brooke Cameron of Valley View – Dairy
Valley View is an excellent example of how good management and dedication can lead to a successful large-scale dairy conversion over a relatively short number of years.
Since 2014, Stu and Brooke Cameron have transformed this 905ha effective Mokoreta property from a conservative sheep and beef farm into a high-performing, sustainable, fully self-contained dairy operation.
At its peak, Valley View now milks just over 1,600 cows across a 530ha milking platform, while 100ha is in crops and 275ha is used for runoff.
Attention to detail and the use of modern technology are the driving forces behind this high-quality conversion. The Camerons use technologies such as soil moisture probes, mastitis detectors and heat detection tags, resulting in efficiency gains and easier management of such things as animal health and reproductive performance.
Staff wellbeing, animal health and environmental management are all carefully monitored. The Camerons regularly update the farm’s business plan and, by reviewing goals and achievements, are hitting targets related to soil, nutrient loss and stock health.
Effluent is well managed, with a tailored system that fits the environment and uses nutrients efficiently. Meanwhile, biosecurity initiatives include the double fencing of boundaries and meticulous closed herd management.
Careful thought has gone into establishing riparian buffer zones around waterways, and protecting a significant wetland area. The large buffer zones were created as part of the conversion, enhancing biodiversity while ensuring the farm meets regulatory requirements.
Informed decision-making is guided and refined by industry experts who help the Camerons achieve the best possible outcomes for Valley View. Along with their dedication to the property, they also make time to get involved in the immediate and wider community.
Purchasing Valley View has enabled Brooke and Stu to continually challenge themselves and grow the business so it will provide opportunities into the future.
Stu and Brooke were winners of the DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award
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