NZ Dairy Spring 2021

42 | nz dairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Hanze Farms: Scott & Larissa Anderson Fencing, planting a five-year focus for couple Waikato farmers Scott and Larissa Anderson have worked hard fencing and planting the gullies on their Ngakuru farm in an assortment of native trees and flaxes. Richard Loader L ike a giant scar in the landscape a gully runs through the middle of Scott and Larissa Ander- son’s farm in the Waikato. Another gully scars the farm’s back boundary. The gullies were caused when Taupo erupted millennia ago causing major flooding throughout the area. When the waters released all at once rushing towards the Waikato River the land was forever scoured, a reminder of earth’s violence. Too steep for tractors and too steep for dairy cows, Scott and Larissa, have spent the last five years fencing and planting the gullies in an assort- ment of native trees and flaxes. Past winners of the Central Plateau/Bay of Plenty Dairy Business of the Year which recognised their business direction, dedication and hard work, Scott and Larissa have worked hard giving back to nature what it took away at the dawn of time. Nearing the end of the project, the couple have planted some 6000 plants so far, with another 1000 set to go in this year. Predominantly flat to rolling farmland, the 105-hectare milking platform nestles in the small rural community of Ngakuru, 20 minutes south of Rotorua, and is home to 400 cows, milked under a split calving regime. The Anderson’s have owned the farm for the last 18 years, but Scott says, growing up, dairy farming was never on his horizon. “I always wanted to go sheep and beef, probably more beef actually. Laris- sa grew up in Germany and went to University over there and then met me in Australia. I had been on an International Agricultural Exchange Association programme and did a year in Canada on a cropping and beef farm. I came back through Australia. Larissa made an executive decision early on in our lives about milking cows. Her father was most disappointed that she was going to New Zealand to be a ‘dairymaid’, milking cows. Some twenty years later I don’t think he is so disappointed any more after what we’ve achieved and done.” Two full timers, with a part timer helping out during calving time, support Scott and Larissa in their farming operations. Larissa focuses on animal health including mating and calving, as well as looking after the farm’s finances, while Scott looks after the overall management of the farm. “We’re pretty passionate about farming and our farming system. I enjoy the industry and I don’t like failing, so mix those two ingredients and you have something pretty powerful. As a team Larissa and I complement one another very well. I wouldn’t be doing it without her.” Reflecting on whether he would recommend dairy farming to young people, Scott reminds me that he didn’t want to go dairy farming in the first place, but says there are some really good oppor- tunities in the dairy industry. “The growth is phenomenal. You wont get that out of any other blue collar job. If you’re money savvy the dairy industry can offer you some good rewards. Just taking on a dairy assistants job you can climb the ladder and get to contract milking level pretty quickly. For a young fella with a family, that gets you some pretty good money, you’ve solved your housing problem and you have a reasonable lifestyle for a young family. But there’s a hurdle between that and sharemilking and farm owner- ship. There just are not many sharemilking jobs out there anymore. Many of the farms are being bought up by corporates or go into carbon farming.” - Glass Silage - Maize Silage - Cereal Silage - Precision Planting - Maize & Fodder beet - Supply & deliver supplement - Direct Drilling - Round & Square - Hay & Silage - All Cultivation - Mulching - Animal Bedding 07 3331 506 - Andrew: 0274 909 417 - Clint: 0272 849 875 A.T. COOK CONTRACTING LTD For all your agricultural requirements Feel free to call in, visit our shop and discuss any requirements you have in regards to your dairy shed. with 24/7 Service DeLaval Service and Support milking solutions Ph 07 348 3628 19 White Street, Rotorua • Milking Machines • Dairy Consumables • Machine Tests • Davey Supplier • Trenching • DeLaval InService ( Preventative Maintenance ) • McConnel Backing Gates • Water Pumps & Fittings • Effluent Systems • Bore Lifts • Irrigation Services • Reid & Harrison WE AREMORE THAN JUSTMILKING SPECIALISTS A: 220 Reporoa Rd, Reporoa P: 07 333 8170 Agricultural Engineering Specialists offering Practical Engineering Solutions