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Ex-banker goes regenerative for more resilience in dryer conditions I Willie White, Hawkes Bay


Change can be risky so as an ex-banker, Willie did a lot of due diligence on regenerative farming practices to ensure it would provide his family with a more consistent return on capital and fit in with the intergenerational purpose for their family farm.

One of this week’s Change Maker’s is Hawke’s Bay dairy farmer, Willie White, who shares his advice and journey from rural banking to transiting the farming practices at Sherwood Farms:

  • It has to maintain the same EBIT/per hectare and even with lower production on an all-grass system, the ability to do this was the lower costs from less inputs such as supplements and fertiliser.

  • Re-grassing species selected had to have longer rotations and summer resilience in their dryland dairy farming operation but still perform through the winter.

  • This enhanced their soil biology for security in the dryer months and had animal health benefits.

  • They are now pursuing organic certification by 2023 after seeing their farming operation’s transition to now achieve a milk price premium for their practices.

“We need to start to prove that we are making pretty good gains. Transitioning your farming practices is a big learning curve so the more people you can bounce ideas the better. You have to find your people and keep in touch with them,” explains Willie White.

To watch the story of Willie White on Calm the Farm visit, https://www.calmthefarm.nz/case-study-4


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