Canterbury dairy farmer's new model for milking could save others big bucks

A bit of old-fashioned Kiwi ingenuity could be a game changer in the production of our white gold.

A bit of old-fashioned Kiwi ingenuity by Glen Herud could be a game-changer for the dairy industry, and it's saving big dollars. Source: 1 NEWS

"Dairy farming is just so expensive nowadays - owning the land's so expensive, so I thought if we could lease land that would make it so much cheaper," says Glen Herud of Nature Matters Milk.

While the milk price has seen an increase this year, the last few years have been particularly tough for dairy farmers with low pay outs and growing debt.

The industry's impact on the environment and treatment of bobby calves has also made headlines.

Glen Herud is milking just outside of Christchurch using a mobile shed in a rented paddock.

He started with seven cows, but that's now increased to at least forty - a mix of Friesian and Jersey breeds.

"We built the mobile cow shed which means we could lease this block from a retired farmer and it means we can go farming without needing to have a million bucks in the bank."

Glen is milking sustainably and says the cows - and milk - are better for it.

"We leave all the calves with their mothers for 8-10 weeks and they'll just naturally wean themselves," he said.

"We let mum do it and when you look at it the cows, they just love having the calves with them".

"We also leave a bull in there the whole time and basically just let them get in calf in their own time".

"It's essentially whole milk"

The milk is pasteurised, then delivered to local cafes in re-usable glass bottles the following day.

Steve McGregor of Christchurch café, Supreme Supreme, signed up after hearing about the milk from another café owner.

"It's essentially whole milk that's just been pasteurized so it still retains its natural fat content and we find that it works really nicely with our coffees it just you get a smoother mouthful, a slightly richer texture taste."