In 2000 our dairy farm was a one man operation milking 80 cows twice daily.
In 2005 our cow numbers had increased to 180 and we moved to milking three times daily
In 2008 we took on a second lease farm and milked a total of 400 cows three times daily
Today we employ ten people and milk 500 cows on two farms
The home farm never ceases to amaze me.
In the last 35 years the amount of land we farm on has stayed the same.
The number of people working and the cows being milked keeps increasing.
Clover Hill cows coming home for milking Boxing Day 2011
In 35 years the dairy has grown from a 6 bale walk thru to a 5 aside herringbone to a 14 aside double up herringbone.
Michael reflects on the milk biz changes in his lifetime
And the milk vat. More than anything I think the milk vat gives the most visual story of the growth of our milk business
This week we installed a 30,000 litre milk vat.
When we installed the 5,000 vat in 1995 we never dreamed we would fill this let alone get to the stage were we filled it twice a day. Its hard to believe 30 years ago our daily milk production fitted into a 1,000 litre vat.
Its no mean feat getting a 30,000 litre vat up our hill let alone finding enough room to put it at the dairy
The vat would replace two x five thousand litres vats we currently have
As you can see room isn’t exactly abundant
So the sacrificial lamb was my garden – but all in a good cause
So now we had found the spot. The next thing was to source a vat, only to find it had to be made in New Zealand and that took 16 weeks. Then it needed 2 cranes and a team of specialists all available on the same day at the same time to make it all happen.
Between the farm team we managed to capture this historic day via mobile phones and camera/video footage.
You can watch the video footage here
and see the photographs here
Not one but two cranes
The truck driver looked pretty pleased to get it there all in one piece. The trip from the dock wasn’t exactly a walk in the park with the vat shifting quite a bit to one side on the way as you can see
But its amazing what team work can do
or at least what Ozzie team work can do. Soon found out half the parts to make it work were still sitting on the dock in NZ