“The initial assistance from Katrina has quickly moved from reproduction performance to cover all areas of our business enterprise.
Anexa and Katrina particularly, have become a one stop shop for all aspects of our herd with emphasis on daily cow intakes, seasonal feed requirements, along with the obvious animal health decisions.
It has been a great journey and one that three generations of the Johnston family take great pride in.” David Johnston, General Manager, Johnston Family Farms
520 Freisan X cows
Split calving (70 cows calved in Autumn)
300,000 kgms in 2017/18
Spring 6 week in calf rate 76%
Autumn 5 week in calf rate 78%
Johnston family farm in Ngarua is a healthy, growing family business, giving pleasure to four generations.
Work with the Johnston family began back in 2009, when the farm owner, Morrie, was not happy with the reproductive performance of the herd. The InCalf resources were pretty new to the New Zealand dairy industry at the time but Anexa InCalf Advisor, Katrina Roberts, was quick to address the concerns of the business and organised a meeting to go through the herd’s Fertility Focus Report.
At the time the herd performance was on par with industry average, and like all farmers at the time, the mating length was 13-14 weeks. The whole farm embraced the process – the farm owner, share-milker and the contract milker at the time, Shane Campbell, and so the journey for continuous improvement began.
However, for this farm it wasn’t just about reproductive performance: all parties wanted to see the cows and land achieve their potential and be a sustainable, profitable business. The farm has been in a constant state of change for nine years; always growing, and always wanting to make improvements. Changes include addition of a feed pad, upgrading the effluent system, purchase of a run off for control of the young stock, installation of Protrack, split calving; and most recently, the building of an underpass. During this process, Katrina has developed alongside this farm, becoming a Headland consultant, and completing the Intermediate nutrient management course. The challenges this farm presented were one of the reasons she has gone down the path of farm consultancy.
The farm seeks the advice of their rural professionals and considers the success of the farm as a reflection of the commitment of all parties. The new contract milkers Dean and Tania took on the job to challenge themselves in this type of farm system.
Everyone is enthused and energised on the day of the farm consultancy visits. It may be the good discussions and challenging ideas, or maybe the morning teas from The Sweet Painted Lady in Waharoa.
Anexa Vets consider it a privilege to work alongside this progressive enterprise.