John van der Goes


My wife Cathy and I own a 60ha dairy farm (plus a 30ha runoff) at Richmond Downs, close to Walton in the Waikato. We milk 160 cows on the home block and run replacements and make silage on the runoff.

Both of us were born and bred in Auckland, but we are almost locals now having been here for 30 plus years. I left school in Auckland to go dairy farming on a farm cadet scheme having spent school holidays working on a sheep and beef farm north of Auckland.

I call myself a lifestyle farmer; we go onto once-a-day milking at the start of January each year and try not to let the farm rule our lives too much.

We have two adult children, one teaching and the other at uni.

I enjoy most sports and have recently taken up cycling (when time allows). I have managed to get around Taupo and done a number of cycle trails. Also, I enjoy singing, have been in a few shows and sing in the Matamata Christmas Choir.

I have been on the SMASH committee for a couple of years and enjoy letting people know that big is not always beautiful.

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