With beautiful views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro, Apiti Heights is Hopkins Farming Groups most northern dairy farm. Peak milking 650 seasonal supply cross breed cows off 467 ha total,of which 242 ha is effective milking area with the remaining area supporting dry stock and young stock.
Apiti Heights targets 200,000 kgMS through a modern 40 bail rotary shed with automatic cup removers and DAL system. The Apiti Heights team consists of 4 staff members; Manager,2IC and two farm assistants who work a roster that balances lifestyle and work.
"It's very good working on Apiti Heights. I have been here for 4 seasons. I like the location,climate and terrain because its reminds me of my province in the Philippines."
Manager: Mathew Shearer
Grandbend farm is one of Hopkins Farming Groups northern dairy farms, 10 minutes from Apiti. Peak milking 1,000 seasonal supply cross breed cows. The farm is 340 ha effective milking area with 70 Ha for young stock and dry stock. We milk through a modern 60 bail rotary shed with automatic cup removers, two feed pads with three concrete silage bunkers & warm housing. The Grandbend team consists of 5 staff members; Manager, 2IC and three farm assistant’s .We work a 6 on 2 off roster. Primary school bus available from the gates, college bus 10 mins from the farm in the Apiti village.
“I'm coming into my 5th season with Hopkins Farming Group. I enjoy the progressiveness & challenges each season, from snow to drought, it’s always enjoyable. We have hunting and fishing on and around the farm & the Apiti golf course with its beautiful views only a few minutes away.”
Manager: Bevan Johnson
Tucked away in rural Apiti, Tableflat farm is your gateway to the Ruahine Ranges. With ample hunting, fishing and outdoor experiences, Tableflat farm is the ideal place for outdoor people & their families.
Tableflat Farm is 323ha in total, 220ha of which is effective milking area. Peak milking 650 seasonal supply cross breed cows through a modern 50 bail rotary shed with automatic cup removes and DAL system, targeting 200,000kg milk solids. Tableflat winters all stock on farm while heifers are grazed off farm at various grazing blocks. Our team consists of 3 full time staff and one part time staff member for calf rearing.
Manager: Christian-Ray Simons
Te Marama is situated 20km north of Feilding. The farm is 450 ha, spread over three terraces. The milking platform is 330 ha and the balance of the area is used for young stock. With the Oroua River forming the bottom boundary and the Ruahine Ranges in the distance the farm’s setting is quite picturesque. Kiwitea primary school is just about on our doorstep, with the school bus at the gate for Feilding high school.
Te Marama peak milk 900 cows though a fully automated 40 bail rotary cow shed. Calving is split with 260 calving in autumn to supply our winter quota of 350 milk solids per day. Our target production is 330,000 to 360,000 kg milk solids per season.
Te Marama grows all its own supplements on farm consisting of maize, fodder beet, turnips and chicory. Surplus grass is harvested for silage as well. Kale is also grown for winter and all cows are wintered on farm. Autumn born heifers are reared on farm until mating, and then sent to grazers. Spring born heifers are sent to grazers once they have been weaned and weigh 100kgs.
The farm is normally run with five staff consisting of Manager, Assistant Manager and 3 farm assistants working an 8 on 2.5 days off shift. Te Marama has a strong team and this helps us deal with challenges that come our way. We encourage our staff to participate in any progress workshops and courses made available to them. The current manager of Te Marama has won the Hopkins Farming Group Manager of the year title on a number of occasions and continues to support his staff in their endeavours.
“It is great working at Te Marama. It is close to town, has some good swimming spots and has hunting and fishing close by for our down time.”
Manager: Alan Christensen
Taonui farm is a well run, high producing 750 cow farm, 20 minutes south of Palmerston North. Situated in the Taonui basin, Taonui milks 500 spring cows & 250 Autumn cows. Production is 280,000 – 300,000 kgMS per season on a level 3 system.
The farm takes great pride in being Grade Free most seasons and has won the Hopkins Farming Group Betty Swinbank Award for Best Presented farm more then any other farm. Staff working at Taonui have developed and gone on to 2IC, Manager and Supervisor positions within the group and outside.
Manager: Shawn Southee
Waihora farm is located in the Opiki, Manawatu. Only a short drive from Palmerston North & 20 minutes from Himatangi beach. The local primary school is only 5 minutes from the farm. We target 400,000 kg/MS on 340 ha, peak milking 1,000 cows. Calving is split with 300 cows calving in the autumn to reach the winter quota. We have modern infrastructure with calf sheds, feed pad and feed bunkers. We have a well-established team that has worked together for a long time; Manager, Assistant Manager & 3 Farm Assistants.
Waihora Farm was the winner of the annual Hopkins Farming Group award “John Hopkins Supreme Farm Award 2016”. This is awarded to the farm that has the highest return on capital for the season. The team have also taken out some of the annual awards with 2014 & 2016 Assistant Manager of the year and 2015 John Todd Farm Assistant of the year.
“I love the quick milking’s in the summer after the autumn cows are dry so we have plenty of time for the beach.”
Manager: Michael Le Marquand
Tollbridge farm boarders the Manawatu river in the Opiki area and offers tranquil scenery including the old Opiki toll bridge, which is where the farm gets it's name from. The river also poses a flooding challenge with 100 ha in the Opiki spillway, I have spent many hours after work winding down with a fishing rod at the river. On a clear day if you look north there are views of Mt Ruapehu. We are a 13 min drive from Palmerston Norths Square (city center).
Milking 650 cows on 222 ha targeting 235,000 milk solids. We have split calving with 200 winter milkers. 100 ha is irrigated with K-lines to improve summer production, along with summer crop. Our team consists of 3 full time staff, as well as a calf rearer and relief milkers in the peak times. Our main focuses are on animal health and growing quality pasture.
The team vision on Tollbridge is to improve the farm for future teams and generations through sustainable practices.
Manager: Andrew Farrell
Blythe is situated on Campbell Road in Opiki. It consists of
top quality soils that once grew potato crops and is supported by center pivot irrigators. We have an older style 44 ASHB dairy shed that flows well and 750 quiet cross breed cows calving in Autumn (200) and Spring (550).
Our's is a well set up property with a strong emphasis on keeping staff safe and happy. Our working roster of 8/2 8/3 5/2 means our 4 full time staff are well rested and get good family time! We challenge ourselves to think outside the square by pushing boundaries and trying new ideas. A source of pride is the number of staff that have moved up to higher roles both within the group and outside!
"I started at Blythe 3 years ago and have gained the skills
to step into an Assistant Manager's role on a bigger farm in
the Hopkins Group"
2015/16 Blythe Farm staff member was the winner of the John Todd Farm Assistant of the year at the annual Hopkins Farming Group awards night.
Manager: Javier Pardo-Diaz
Based only 25km south of Palmerston North and a couple of minutes’ drive from the Tokomaru Village, which has its own kindergarten and primary school, Tokomaru Farm reaps the rewards of being close enough to town but still enjoying the country life. The Tokomaru River is a well-known swimming spot, offers good trout fishing and conveniently runs through the farm.
Calving 600 spring cows and 300 autumn cows, with a target of 350,000kg of milk solids. Tokomaru use a medium input system over 315ha with a 60 bale rotary shed and feed pad.
Tokomaru Farm pride themselves on having the lowest Somatic Cell Count (SCC) of all the Hopkins Farming Group farms, averaging below 100,000 SCC per season over the last four years. Tokomaru reached a NZ top 3% ranking in 2014 as well as gaining two Grade Free Certificates.
Tokomaru won the John Hopkins Supreme Farm Award in 2014 for the highest return on capital and have continued develop staff that have progressed their careers through the group and outside the group.
Manager: Riaan Lamprecht
Torunui is the most Southern farm in the Hopkins Farming Group. It is a flat farm situated in Opiki, in the lowest point of the Opiki basin. Located 20 km from Palmerston North.
The farm is a 194 ha effective area with center pivot irrigation on 148 ha, so we are at lower risk through drought. We milk 650 cross breed cows through a 38 aside herringbone shed, utilizing two feed pads side by side and two silage bunkers. We make all supplements on the dairy platform and is run on a grass ony system.
Torunui targets 235,000 kg/milk solids, at an average of 385 milk solids per cow. The staff on Torunui consists of a developing team; Manager, 2IC and Farm Assistant, with a dedicated calf rearer and relief milkers to cover rostered days off and annual leave. We run a 12 on 2 off and 11 on 3 off roster which works well for our team.
Manager: Colin Thompson
Kohunui is a beautiful 646 ha property at the top of the Kawhatau Valley. The property has 260 ha of flat land, 180 ha of hills with areas of native bush and scrub, 124 ha of regenerated scrub and 82 ha running into the Ruahine ranges of native bush. It has free draining Kiwitea silt loam soil.
This a support block for the dairy farms, running the autumn heifers for the southern farms and also carrying spring heifers from various farms. We purchase empty cows which are mated and sent back to various farms. We aim to winter 1,000 cows, feeding them on triticale and kale which is grown on the property. The bulls are farmed here and leased out to the farms for autumn and spring mating.
Kohunui is run by a full time manager with support of a part time worker and staff from the farms within the group when available.
Kohunui offers some seasonal challenges but provides a great lifestyle for people who enjoy the outdoors with great access to walking tracks, hunting, trout fishing and we are also an access way to huts in the Ruahine ranges with permission required seasonally.
Blythe, Grand Bend, Table Flat, Taonui Basin, Te Marama, |
Tokomaru, Toll Bridge, Toronui, Waihora, Apiti Heights .