Mike and Sharon Barton farm near Lake Taupo. Like many in region they’ve had to adjust to farming under a nitrogen cap which means they can’t cover rising costs simply by intensifying production. Rather than being daunted by the legislation, they’ve embraced it and increased the value of what they farm. Taupo Beef is sold directly to a local butcher who sells it in his retail shop as well as to top end Taupo restaurants like Huka Lodge and the Hilton. The Bartons also won this year’s Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Supreme Award.
AndThe National Trades Academy is running a course for suburban teenagers who want to learn about farming and horticulture, at a 70 hectare property at McLean’s Island near Christchurch. The students spend three days at school and the other two at the Academy learning about milking, animal handling, feed management and farm maintenance.
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