After our lunch at the Blue Pub we head back out into the Mid-Canterbury plains to visit the Beith Farm dairy(s). Craig & Helen Elliott, who started off as share milkers have amassed a sizable operation of which they are 50% owners as well as managers of the farm(s). Their stock is Frisian, Frisian/Jersey with a small amount of Jersey and they milk all of their cows in carousel barns. They have several farms all within a few miles of each other and milk (approx) a total head of 6,500 cows. As most of New Zealand does, they have a calving season of Aug/Sept when they do not milk cows but are very busy assisting with the calving of so many babies. On the home farm their last season production to factory was:
- Litres 5,290,747
- Fat KG 267,417
- Protein KG 207417
- Average % 8.98%
- per ha 2,022kgMS/ha 22,513L/ha
- per cow 528kgMS/cow 5,878L/cow
Theirs is a true success story and we listened to it with rapt attention. Helen started out as a jockey, leaving New Zealand and riding in Japan. After a few years of this she returned to New Zealand and started share milking. From there she and Craig have built quite an empire, which is both well run as well as beautiful.