Chris Falconer farms 250 hectares in Waerenga, North Waikato, where he milks 400 cows. Since he took over the property six years ago, Chris has planted more than 10,000 trees and has fenced 30 kilometres of waterways. Breeding for more efficient milk production, Chris has reduced his herd numbers from 500 to 420 without reducing production.
“Fewer cows means fewer emissions,” Chris says.
Chris is helping the soil absorb more carbon with a no-cropping approach and by removing the use of artificial fertilisers.
Chris will start a trial with Happy Cow in March 2020 and supply 500 litres a day. “I love that Happy Cow is connecting consumers directly with a single source of milk so that they know where it comes from, how it’s produced and when it’s produced. I think it’s only a matter of time before this becomes the more accepted way of doing things – with all sorts of products.”
“For me, success will be people enjoying a direct connection with the milk they drink. It’s that simple. It’s about the consumer having a choice to purchase milk in a way that creates the least harm to the environment.”
Chris says the increased income will provide more security to the farm. He sees more profitable farming as a pathway for the next generation. But he is typically modest about the big picture.
“We need to prove the model before we start talking about it too much. I prefer to just quietly chip away and make the model replicable and commercially viable.”