NZ Dairy Spring 2021

40 | nz dairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Gary & Karen Peters House build at 22 starts couple on dairy path Photos: Daughter, Julia, with one of the pet cows. The Peters’ herd flanked by Mt Taranaki. Two of the family’s favourite cows – Rock View Doorman Selice AKA ‘Selice’ (at left) and ‘Rock View M Blubel-ET S2F’ AKA ‘Blubel’. Photo Dean Malcolm. Richard Loader Gary and Karen milk 115 – 120 cows, achiev- ing an average production of 672kgMS per cow at the factory. The herd is predominantly registered Holsteins, with about 15 pure Ayrshires. “We have a Holstein stud called Rock View, which was established by my grandparents in 1965. The cows remain our passion for farming. We just love the cows. Both of us love the breeding and get quite involved with that. We do quite a bit of embryo work, and we love milking. I would much rather be in the shed milking my cows than driving tractors.” Karen adds that the cows have all got their own personality, which she enjoys. Family has been a big part of the Peters’ farming ethos and Gary says Karen has been a big part of the farming journey the whole way. “From the time we moved onto the family farm at Tariki it has just been the two of us. At the same time we raised two children – Julia 21 and Jacob 19. They’ve been awesome all the way through. You know late nights Julia would have tea prepared and if we were out late in the spring they would come down and do calf meals.” For the last three years every April Gary and Karen have hosted the Taranaki Holstein Breeders sale on their farm. “We sell 10 in-calf heifers and the same number of calves each year. We try to make it the best we can and sell the kinds of animals that people want in their own herds. We are selling some of our embryo transfer ones that buyers can have their pick from. “We use Semex and Worldwide Sires for our bull selections and strive for a nicely put together, well- balanced cow that is high producing.” Proud to support Gary Peters ANDREW HEY 027 256 5068 Taranaki Facebook/HeyHarvesting 17 Years Agricultural Contracting Experience HARVEST I NG HEY • Cultivation • Maize Silage • Harvesting • Truck & Trailer cartage • Tractor & Trailer cartage • Pit Metal Can-Am, ATV and Side x Sides High Performance | Best Comfort | Best Value Ph. 06 765 6942 / 021 478 558 | 337 Broadway, Stratford G rowing up on his grandparent’s farm in Tariki, just out of Inglewood, Gary Peters was always busy planning on how he could be a farmer. At 22 Gary had built and sold a house, using the proceeds to finance a herd of cows so that he and his wife Karen could start their farming journey as 50/50 sharemilkers. That was the start of life long farming partnership between Gary and Karen that included sharemilk- ing on the family farm in Tariki for 10 years before moving to a larger 340-cow farm. The challenge of balancing time on the farm with the demands of a young family lead to the decision to build a milking shed on a 42-hectare run-off the couple had purchased two years earlier in Midhurst. Commencing dairy operations in 2009 the Peters are now in their 12th season. Directly under the shadow of Mount Taranaki, the farm gets 4 – 5 metres of rainfall each year. A recently purchased 44-hectare run-off up the road is home to 35 beef heifers that are used for embryo transfer work, along with their young dairy stock with all cows from the home farm wintered there. “We also cut a bit of supplement if it’s spare,” says Gary. “We try to grow as much grass as we can but the cows get 2.5 kilograms of a soya hull blend with minerals in the shed each day, along with some PK on the way back to the paddock. We also buy in a little bit of maize silage just to fill a gap.”