Craig Morley, Associate Professor Resource Management, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Rotorua, along with 26 students, visited Wairakei Estate on 10 September. The visiting students have degrees in agriculture, horticulture, biotechnology, medical science and botany – with most being international students. On arrival that morning they spent time visiting Burgess dairy unit run by Warwick Halford, Farm Manager.
Following this the students regrouped in the Wairakei Pastoral boardroom for a PowerPoint presentation by Jason Halford, Business Manager for Endurance, Halls and Pinta farms.
This year’s visit had a focus on showing the students how farmers manage their land sustainably. Topics covered were milking shed, feed/stock pads, effluent ponds, riparian planting, wetland planting, sedimentation traps, animal pest and weed management, water management, detainment bunds, woodlots, stock rotation methods and stocking rates, and nutrient loading (e.g. Overseer, fertilizer) etc.
Jason also took the opportunity to show the students some of the milk products produced by PAMU – one of the products was Pāmu Pure Organic milk. This is sourced exclusively from selected certified organic farms in New Zealand’s lush, green North Island, where the cows have free access to pasture all year round. These peak conditions ensure the cows are healthy and happy – eating a natural organic diet with no GMOs, palm kernel, antibiotics or added hormones.
It was a very full day and the students left Wairakei Estate having seen first hand the importance of best practice with sustainability and stewardship of the land. Something we hope they will be putting into practice themselves in the near future.