Supporting our community

New Zealand has a strong history of sheep farming, with sheep numbers peaking at 70 million in the early 1980’s. However, by the early 1990s the bovine ‘dairy boom’ was in full swing which created new opportunities across the primary sector and saw many turn from sheep farming to bovine dairy farming.

One of the major changes bovine dairy brought was the opportunity of land ownership through contract, variable order and share milking. This system was the envy of many countries throughout the world – tangible pathways to increase incomes, herd sizes and operations which lead to farm ownership – adding to the cornerstone of rural communities. However, due to huge increases in land prices and the removal of the variable order opportunities the hopes of land ownership are no longer so readily available. We want to change that through ovine dairy. 

Strengthening rural communities

The opportunity to bring models of sharemilking back has already begun within the sheep industry. Sheep Milk New Zealand is working with individuals to build a South Island sheep dairy community, while forging ahead with training provider Agri Training on a free pilot sheep dairy training programme. The aim of this is to help support the longevity and sustainability of the industry in the South Island. This groundwork is building employment opportunities, improving land use for Māori land while increasing community and industry capability. 

We firmly believe dairy sheep farming is a move towards a better model for strengthening rural communities with a positive impact on rural schools, livelihoods and the wellbeing of communities as a whole.  Become a supplier.