Mark Townshend is a former Fonterra director and one of New Zealand's leading dairy farmers. Today he spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about the challenges facing Hauraki Plains' farmers and also the positive future for dairy fat as a health food.

Townshend says the Hauraki Plains is a great place to farm despite the recent weather issues (and TVNZ Sunday documentaries), and he remains positive saying "you've just got to farm the best you can through the challenges the weather brings you".

Mark is positive about the dairy industry in general and singles out dairy fat in butter which is currently worth more than protein in skim milk powder. In fact nowadays butter is making a comeback as a health food - which can only be good news for dairy.