Our primary industry is Dairy and the activities associated with dairy farming. We have a herd of 200 animals, consisting mainly of Holstein/Frisian cattle. Conditions in the region are well suited for Holsteins, and we are able to create an environment for the animals that is conducive to high milk production.
We encountered resistance with local farmers when trying to sell off our excess animals, mainly the male offspring and about 15 years ago ventured into a cross breeding program with Ayreshire, Drakensberger, Nguni and Boran from Kenya, which has let to a successful off shoot to our dairy business where a more beef like animal with mixed traits that are very appealing to the local market. We now select a percentage of our breeding herd for this purpose whilst retaining our core Holstein breed. The Nguni traits makes for a much hardier animal, while retaining the milk production levels associated with the Holstein breed.
Farmhand overseeing cattle at pasture
On the farm we have facilities to process the milk into a variety of products. We produce high quality pasturised milk for sale direct to the public, or for wholesale to larger dairy processing facilities. Additionally we also produce milk by products that include Emasi, a fermented milk product similar to cottage cheese, farm fresh yogurt, as well as a dairy and fruit juice drink blend.
Farm fresh yogurt
As part of our contribution to the local community, we offer a three month paid dairy training program that encompasses herd health, milking, pasture maintenance, feeding and calf rearing. The project came about when local farmers wanted to buy cows from us and after a few disastrous starts where most of the animals died. Upon consultation with the farmers we realized that their knowledge of dairy farming was limited, it was decided that before we would sell a dairy cow or cows to an individual we would offer the course to them and their employees or no sale would take place. This ensures that the farmers get the best value out of the animals, and that the animals are allowed to flourish. It also helps to create sustainable growth in the local farming community.