Are you born a high achiever or is it something you pick up from those that surround you?
So often the words ‘high achiever’ are said as a negative, but what if we turned that around, that to be a high achiever takes ambition, goal setting and hard work, then THIS would be the truer version of those words.
Mark is a high achiever he has monetary goal he wishes to achieve, because why else would you get up at 3.30am every day to milk cows, if you aren’t being rewarded for it? To strive to be the best farmer he can, producing high quality milk, high yields, healthy cows and being able to reward himself and his family with the best lifestyle he can.
Mark was born into the farming life, taking good grounding from his granny who rented 2 farms, and sold eggs into Chester whilst raising a family. The opportunity to buy her own farm, saw her diversify into selling chickens and to start the dairy enterprise. Savvy business decisions meant a 2nd farm was bought, allowing the 2 sons to farm in their own right, under the one business name, which has led to healthy competition between the two farms.
Lucy, Marks better half, is not from a farming background, has ‘married’ into the farming life and she loves it! Lucy main role is looking after the youngstock, milking and of course looking after Sadie, their daughter who is always with them and is involved in all the jobs – a true childhood of dreams!
You can really see that they both love what they do, and this is seen in the quality of the stock, machinery and the farm, which are all looked after to a high standard.
4 years ago they decided to start using Cross Bred cattle in their all year calving system. They have gone for a Montebeliard x Swedish Red and wish they had done this sooner. Sexed semen is used on the heifers and better cows, and they have seen increased fertility and milk solids and have seen improved health and feet.
Calves are born and then go into an individual pen, where the Stallion Individual Feeder is used with the pink teat. Using the individual milk feeder means that they can ensure the calf has drunk all the milk and is getting 1:2:1 attention and illness such as scours can be isolated and treated. Once they are feeding well, at about 7 days old, they join a group of 5 other calves, based on their size, and get fed milk in a trough with ad-lib course mix. Heifers stay housed until they calve. This system works really well for them, as they can control the feed intake and it saves time and labour.
The calves are tagged with Datamars Tags, and they can’t be more pleased with them, as they rarely ever come out, so much so they don’t freeze brand as they are so confident in the tags doing their job! Heifers are tagged with 1 yellow management tag and 1 coloured, each year has its own colour, for ease of management. Only once the heifer has calved, does her coloured tag get replaced with a yellow tag, and she officially becomes a cow!
The cows are producing milk with excellent fat and protein levels, this is attributed to the good quality grass and maize silage that is produced. They take at least 5 cuts over the growing season and use SafeSil by Kelvin Kave which is a preservative and keeps the silage fresher for longer once it has been fed out. The grass leys are ‘renewed’ every 3-5 years, by direct drilling perennial grasses into the sward, and then ‘topped up’ every 2 years, this system pays for itself massively and is worth the investment. The fields are rotated from Day and Night fields, with the cows getting disgruntled if they are in the wrong ‘time zone’! By the time the parlour is turned on and a few jobs done the cows have bought themselves in.
3 years ago, all of the grazing fields were re-electric fenced around the field boundaries and a PEL system put in place, to run off the mains. They are really pleased with this system and use the electric fence tester to ensure power if going through and any faults can be found. Before turn out Mark spent an hour checking all the fences and finding any fault, so quick and easy to use. When they need to reduce a paddock size they use the PEL Solar panel, which is reliable, and you know it’s not going to run flat! It just makes life easier.
Lucy is a HUGE fan of the Kiawaka Ladies Storm Coat, as chief scrapper driver, she needs to ensure she is kept warm and dry, and along with her Bib & Brace, this is ensured! Rain runs straight off the coat and the rubber cuffs ensure not water is running down her arms! The length is great as it covered her bum and keeps everything toasty!
The Bib & Brace has been a game changer, it is such good quality and again does the job it is supposed to! Lucy just couldn’t be more pleased with her kit… much to Marks disdain as she raves about it ALL THE TIME!
Everything we have had from KiwiKit has been so good, we’ve never had any issues or needed to send anything back. The staff are all really helpful – which just makes it easy!
Trusting in your ability to achieve your goals, is more than mind-set, it is knowing you can trust in the decisions you make for your stock, trust in the machinery to keep the farm moving and trust in the kit that you use to manage the cattle and to trusting in what you wear to keep you warm and dry! All these decisions make for a well-run farm business.
@kiwikit @datamars @thefarmslife @kelvinkave