NZ Dairy Spring 2021

18 | nz dairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Jersey Girl Organics John Vosper with son Michael and daughter Laura, who are adding another chapter as the fifth generation. The good looking Jersey girls (below). Kim Newth O ne name keeps coming up gold over and over again at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards and that’s Jersey Girl Organics and their irresistibly good A2 Organic Milk. Bottled and processed on farm, this milk is in a class of its own for taste and once again took out a gold medal in the dairy category, acknowledg- ing Jersey Girl Organics as one of the country’s outstanding food producers. The gold medals keep coming year after year for this small but high performing business. The home of Jersey Girl Organics is Cleavedale Farm on Matamata’s rural fringe, where John Vosper and Liz Mackay run a pedigree herd of 210 Jerseys. Cleavedale has an intergenerational story spanning many decades. John’s ancestors were milking cows here 100 years ago and now two of his adult children – Michael and Laura – are adding another chapter as the fifth generation connected with this land. Laura, a business graduate, brings management acumen to the operation while Mi- chael is hands-on with farm and factory. As well as winning gold again this year, the fam- ily have had further cause to celebrate with Michael and partner Karissa recently having had twins. “It’s very exciting for all of us,” says John. There is no secret ingredient in their award winning A2 organic milk. John says the great taste starts with the Jersey cows themselves that produce milk naturally high in protein and calcium. While the milk is pasteurised, it is not homogenised and that also adds to the outstanding flavour. “It tastes sweeter and has a nicer mouth feel. I’d like to think the way we treat the cows makes the milk taste a little better too. Of course, diet comes into that. First and foremost that’s the grass we grow right here, along with some silage.” In the consumer market, A2 milk is prized as being easier to digest. “Many of our customers say ours is the only milk they have been able to drink for years.” Cleavedale Farm is a BioGro NZ certified organic farm. John and Liz first made the switch to organic dairying in 2003 and have been processing their A2 organic milk for the past six years. It is sold via retail outlets throughout the North Island and they recently launched a glass bottle refill and exchange service. No antibiotics, artificial fertiliser or sprays are permitted on certified organic farms. John says the key to staying on top of potential issues is good forward planning. Jersey Girl Organics win gold again “It tastes sweeter and has a nicer mouth feel. I’d like to think the way we treat the cows makes the milk taste a little better too.” With pasture, that means being proactive on maintaining fertility and pasture cover. “We’ve learned through experience that we need to have supplement resources as a buffer. With animal health, it’s about trying to be proactive and getting rid of environmental causes for things like mastitis.” Calving is twice a year with all calves retained and reared. Jersey bulls are raised on a lease block in Mamaku and their Angus cross animals are sold as weaners and kept on a separate block alongside replacements. Many of the Jersey girls at Cleavedale Farm have their own special nicknames. “I may be biased but I think Jerseys are better looking! On top of that, they’re definitely better for the environment and are highly efficient converters of grass into milk.” 0508 KAIMAI (524624) Proud to be supporting Jersey Girl Organics