An organic dairy farm in the Waipa region took out the Transforming Food category at the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards last week.

'Our Land of Milk and Honey' is a certified organic and robotic dairy farm, as well as an apiary and market garden.

Farmer Gina Williams told The Country's Jamie Mackay she was "still in shock" after winning the award last Thursday.

"We're very, very excited and very overwhelmed. We had no idea that we were going to win."


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Located on the lower foothills of Maungatautari in the Waikato region, Our Land of Milk and Honey has been farmed by the same family for almost a century and for decades the farm was run as a conventional dairy operation.

In 2009 the farm started transitioning to an organic certification, and Williams says robotics were employed three years ago, which has worked well for the cows.

"They've got their favourite robot that they go to and ... they're a lot quieter and they seem a bit happier ... it's good for the animals."

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Along with being organic and using robotics, Our Land of Milk and Honey's greenhouse gas emissions is 44 per cent lower than the average dairy farm. Williams puts this down to the organic system they use which has a lower stocking rate.

"At our highest stocking rate we were about 360. We've got it down to about 285 on average whilst maintaining that production and the bottom line."

Williams says "there's never a dull moment," at Our Land of Milk and Honey, with wetland planting, an apiary and a market garden all on the go.

She reckons it pays to be "proactive" when running an organic farm.


"One of the great things about growing up on a farm is that you learn how to solve problems in a very creative or lateral-thinking kind of way."

"You don't really meet a farmer that doesn't relish solving problems in a new way."