An environmentally-conscious farming family in Waikato is being brought on board by Fonterra as part of a project to restore signifcant waterways around the country.
Andrew and Jennifer Hayes farm an 88 hectare dairy farm between two peat lakes - Kaituna and Komakorau (co-mark-a-row), at Horsham Downs in Waikato.
The Hayes have won environment awards for their guardianship of those lakes and Fonterra has asked them to share their knowledge with fellow farmers.
Not only do they use fewer inputs, but the health of their lakes and water-table have protected them from the worst of the drought and allowed them to continue milking twice per day.
Mr Hayes said the key to getting farmers to change their ways is to show them how much money they can save by being sustainable.
The project is part of a $20 million move announced this week by Fonterra and the Department of Conservation to improve natural habitats of five significant waterways.