Lindsay Farm Dairy is one of New Zealand's largest raw milk producers, and has won the Be Pure Paddock to Plate award in the Green Agriculture Innovation Awards.

After a successful event last year, Lindsay Farm is opening its gates to the public on February 25.

"We had approximately 220 people attend last year and because it was such a success we have decided to run it again but with a few more things for kids to do to keep them occupied," said Ange Brooks, the eldest daughter of owners Paul and Christine Ashton.

Paul and Christine Ashton run their farm under a Probitas or sustainable famring system, applying trace minerals and bio inoculants to balance the soil.


The pasture management has longer rotations and other methods to improve plant health, they said.

"As the natural carbon recycling kicks in less fertiliser is required, (30 per cent less on this property), and weed and pest issues have reduced.

"Longer rounds means standing feed reduces the need for supplementary feed," Christine says.

"The cows are no longer drenched or vaccinated, they have free access to minerals and are treated homeopathically when possible."

Milking is once a day and the cows have little or no stress, supporting the Ashtons' principle that happy cows produce healthy milk.

Ange said at the open day there would be a colouring-in competition for the kids, who would also be able to name two calves and have photos taken with them.

"We are also going to have a waterslide, which will be loads of fun for everyone so we are telling everyone to bring togs. We also have St Joseph's School doing a fundraising barbecue and making smoothies, and the coffee cart will also be here," she said.

Lindsay Farm has been run organically for the past 12 years and has been producing raw milk for the last eight.


Ange said the open day would give people a chance to see how the 100ha family owned and operated farm worked, including how the cows are milked and how the milk is bottled.

"We have a herd of 100 cows and have about 50 in milk at one time and calve all year round. We deliver the milk around Hawke's Bay, and also as far as Auckland and Gisborne," she said.

Because of the introduction of new regulations around the sale of raw milk, Ange said the business model for the farm changed last year.

"The new legislation doesn't want milk delivered to delivery points, which is impractical for us. So we have created a farm partnership which people sign up to at no cost and they become partners in the ownership of the herd of cows.

"What that means is they pay us to take care of their cows and milk them, and volunteers of the partnership deliver the milk to a collection point of their choice. So we don't sell raw milk, but offer people a service." Ange said people loved the idea of owning the cows.

"Urban people especially love the opportunity to come onto a working farm. And it's made even better for them knowing they are a part of owning the cows," she said.

- Lindsay Farm's open day runs from noon to 4pm on Saturday February 25 at 600 Lindsay Rd. RSVP by February 18 by emailing or by calling 858 5333.