Our Farmers / It is worthwhile coming to SMASH events!

Read the stories of farmers who have come along to SMASH events. Find out about their farming businesses and how SMASH has helped them.

Keith and Tracey

Smaller herd works for couple

Keith and Tracey are happy with their choice to stay smaller herd farming. “With a small farm we have still been able to support our children,” says Tracey. “Maybe through lending them a bit of money to buy their first house, that’s been awesome. Bigger farms have their place in the community too, but I still think a small farm has a lot to offer.”

The Roltons and Rombouts

A helping hand for young farmers

“I went to a SMASH event at Karapiro and there were three big chunks of information presented that we were interested in. There’s your information in three hours, all done. “


SMASH supporter from the start

Peter hasn’t always been farming, after growing up on a farm, he went to university, taught for 13 years, and worked in Auckland, before he had an epiphany and returned to the family farm. “It took two hours to commute, I said to Debbie, ‘I reckon I could milk the cows and be home for breakfast, before I get through a traffic jam here’.”


Always learning something new

Matamata farmer, Cam Houghton, is an enthusiastic once a day milking advocate, and is always keen to add to his farming knowledge. He has been farming at the base of the Kaimais for his whole career.


Continuing the smaller herd tradition

Lisa Groen is gradually taking over the reins of the family farm, near Te Aroha in the Waikato. She is the second generation on the 65 ha, 225 cow farm, following on from her parents, Klaas and Annette, who purchased the property in 1998.

Matt and Sarah-Jane

Strength in smaller numbers

The strong working partnership of smaller herd farmers Matt and Sarah-Jane Yates has been a cornerstone to the success of their farming business. Matt started his career drystock farming on the family block, but its sale enabled him to buy his own property.

Gavin and Jody

Back to the future

Six years ago Gavin, and his partner Jody Hansen, shifted from Waikato to Northland to take up a job offer. They are now in their fifth season 50:50 sharemilking in the Bay of Islands. They milk 180 Jersey cows through a 20 aside herringbone shed on the 60 ha (eff) farm.


Living the dairy dream

Markus Woutersen is just starting out on his dairy farming career: he’s in his fourth season sharemilking on the family farm near Cambridge. Although he is at the beginning of his farming journey his passion for farming dates back to his early childhood.

Nathan and Rosie

Career switch to smaller herd pays off

A midlife crisis, and the desire for a new challenge, were the catalysts for Nathan and Rosie Hughes’ switch to smaller herd dairying three years ago. The Hughes owned a lifestyle block, and they had built up a successful arboriculture business. They sold up to pursue a new career as the owners of a 80 ha, 240 cow farm, situated on peat soil between Cambridge and Te Awamutu in the Waikato.