Stacey is a mother of two boys and the household/co-farm manager/financial manager/administrator/calf rearer/go anywhere and do anything (and fast) for our sheep, beef, dairy grazing and dairy farm business.
She is a fourth generation born and bred farmer from Urenui, Taranaki. After finishing school, Stacey attended Massey Universtity and completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Rural Valuation and Agriculture. She also met her husband Dan who also graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science.
Post graduation, Stacey worked for National Bank (now ANZ) as a Rural Manager for 6 years, starting in Waikato and then in Taranaki. While both working full time, Dan and Stacey started off with a 15 acre lease block in Dinsdale ,Hamilton. Soon after, the opportunity came up to lease her parents 320 hectare farm in Taranaki. After only 6 months in the Waikato they decided to make the move down to Taranaki. So their adventures began...
After a year leasing the family farm, Stacey and Dan purchased a 25 acre block of prime land in Tikorangi with a cowshed and milked 25 cows. This system enabled them to rear up to 350 calves each year. These animals formed the basis of the livestock for their lease and eventually the dairy herd. At this stage Stacey was still working full time at the bank while Dan worked full time on the farm.
In 2011, Stacey decided she needed a change and went to work for New Zealand Farmers Livestock as a Stock Agent and ended up also doing Dairy Co-ordinator Role for the company in Taranaki. This role was one of her most
challenging and she learnt a lot.
In 2012, the two decided they wanted to go 50/50 sharemilking as well as retain their lease and calf rearing operations. As neither of them had actually spent a year working full time on a dairy farm they could not get a look in. To help rectify this, Dan took a dairy farm managers position and Stacey left her job to become a full time farmer to run their lease blocks and rear the calves.
After a second futile search for a 50/50 job, they found a small dairy farm, ran the numbers and realised that if they sold their 25 acres in Tikorangi, they could make it work. In two years they increased the production from 26,000 to 52,000 kgms milking twice a day. They have since gone back to a once a day system to allow for more time for the other parts of the business. Stacey and Dan have also invested into the family farm that they had been leasing and taken on a neighbouring 140 hectare drystock lease.
"The first year on our dairy farm saw the birth of our son Archie and two years on we welcomed another son, Kash into the mayhem. When the payout dropped, I went back to work part-time at the bank to help the cashflow. It soon became apparent that our business and family operated better when I was working on and in the business fulltime. To facilitate this we have an au pair who helps with the children. We have no other staff."
"We have two young children, we milk 160 cows once a day on our own farm, lease 470 ha of intensive sheep and beef finishing/trading, graze 240 dairy heifers, rear 300+ calves in spring and plan to rear 250 each autumn. If we were not passionate about agriculture and the opportunities it can provide for us and our children we would probably collapse with exhaustion."
Long term, Stacey and Dan want to repay debt and get to a point where having staff and paying back debt can happen simultaneously, allowing them to spend more time with their boys as they get older.
You sound like you lead a very busy lifestyle Stacey but extremely satisfying we bet. Your enormous amount of passion for the industry will help in achieving your farming goals!