A group of Bay of Islands College students, members of the school's fledgling TeenAg club, were guests on the Far North farm that is the first in Northland to boast a fresh raw milk vending machine.

Bevan and Joanna Taylor's Longhill Farms, south of Kawakawa, will calve 220 cows this spring.

The herd is milked once a day all season, and supplies Fonterra, but a smaller mob, currently numbering 13, is milked separately to supply a raw milk dispenser on the property.

"It's the first fresh raw milk vending machine in Northland, and has been in operation since mid-May," Mr Taylor said.


"We have previously done home deliveries of raw milk. This option is a lot less labour-intensive."

Kyla Sherbanowski and her fellow TeenAg members had had an "amazing time" when they visited recently.

"We learned why the Taylors are breeding a crossbred herd to improve their cows' milk output and composition," she said.

The trip was part of a project the Year 13 students will be working on next term, examining the dairy and beef sectors.

Meanwhile, Mr Taylor said cleaning procedures needed to be more thorough for raw milk supply because it wasn't pasteurised.

Each cow's teats were washed and dried before their milk was "harvested", which was easier to do with a smaller mob.

The couple were currently selling about 35 litres of milk a day through the vending machine, and hoped to lift that to 100 litres a day.

Selling their own milk demanded extra skills not required by most farmers.

"Joanna does an amazing job managing our website and Facebook page. There's a lot more paperwork as well," Mr Taylor said.

Kyla was regarded the extra effort as worthwhile, describing the milk as awesome, creamier and sweeter than "normal" milk from the supermarket.

The couple began diversifying their business two years ago when they bought 50 beehives. They now produce their own honey, which is also sold on-farm.

"The students were really interested in honey production and how beehives are set up and work," said Mr Taylor said.

The students also visited the farm of contract milker and Northern FMG Young Farmer of the Year Daniel Bradbury.