Lighthouse Farms

This workstream involves the delivery of 15 pilot lighthouse farm plans from leading
farmers in the catchment. 

This approach brings together into a story the great things that leading farmers are
already doing, and then igniting further innovation: by exploring possibilities of
stretch thinking based on current and future practices that will replenish the land
and the water while protecting the asset for future generations.

Meet James and Donna Wilkins, Our Lighthouse Farmers

James and Donna are our farmers in the Pongakawa catchment. The family have a spring calving dairy herd currently transitioning to autumn calving on 75 ha with 18 ha of kiwifruit. James’s lighthouse farm plan (developed by the Wai Kokopu team) and catchment days have inspired them to improve some of their on-farm systems. 

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Meet John and Margaret Scrimgeour, Our Lighthouse Farmers

John started his farming career in Golden Bay in 1969, before moving to the Bay of Plenty in 1980, and finally settling at their current property in 1989. Land use at John and Margaret’s farm is very diverse, with plantation forestry, kiwifruit and avocados, a seasonal 400-cow dairy herd, and dairy support.

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Meet Kiri Tapsell, Our Lighthouse Farmer

Pukenga Farms, situated at Maketū bordering the Kaikokopu Stream, runs beef and kiwifruit. Kiri and his family have a proactive approach to protecting the environment and are keen to learn and adopt farm systems that provide long-term sustainability for the family and the estuary. Read more about Pukenga Farms and their good work.

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Meet Dayna Rowe, Our Lighthouse Farmer

At 23, Dayna Rowe manages the family’s 930-cow dairy farm at Pongakawa and is already making a name for herself with some top industry awards to her name. Since her start at 19 as a dairy assistant, then moving into herd management at 20/21 and managing the family farm by 22, it’s been a swift rise in the ranks, but Dayna says she's had to work extra hard to prove she deserves to be taken seriously. 

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Meet Tim and Mel Cummings, our Lighthouse Farmers

Farming on Old Coach Road, Tim and Mel Cummings run a 287 Kiwi Cross/Friesian herd on a milking platform of 85 ha alongside a small number of dry stock on 6 ha of sidlings. The farm straddles the Pongakawa Stream. Tim and Mel have been on the property for 12 years, tweaking their farm system and keeping an open mind as to what changes need to happen in order to make their farming operation environmentally sustainable. 

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Lighthouse Farm meeting and end of year get-together

It was great to see so many at our end of year Lighthouse Farmer Meeting. More than 40 people met at Rowe Farms in Pongakawa for an outline of Grant Rowe and daughter Dayna's farming system and what they're doing differently.

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