Family-owned, family values
FARMING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Rakaia Island is a large farming operation in Canterbury, owned by the Turner family. The business comprises six Dairy Units and a Dry Stock Unit, run as one farm in two locations: Rakaia Island and Woodstock.
The evolution of Rakaia Island
Founding Directors Doug and Dave Turner grew up on a North Canterbury dairy farm. Before they began dairying themselves, they gained off-farm experience: Dave in Rural Banking, Doug became a qualified Diesel Mechanic. But dairying always remained their passion.
In 1980 Dave and Doug formed a share milking partnership – taking every opportunity to expand the business. The hard work of Margaret and Helen Turner has been an essential factor in the growth of the business, along with invaluable support from extended family.
In 1994 Rakaia Island near Southbridge was purchased, gradually irrigated and converted from sheep and beef, to four Dairy Units. Rakaia Island is where the bulk of dairy operations take place. In 2005 Woodstock Farms near Oxford in North Canterbury, was purchased and converted from sheep, to two Dairy Units and a Dry Stock Unit.
• Four dairy units + wintering runoff
• 2017/2018: Over 2.5 million kgMS
• 34 full-time staff
• 5500 KiwiCross cows
• 2000 young stock – KiwiCross
• Two dairy units + dry stock unit
• 2017/2018: Over 1 million kgMS
• 20 full-time staff
• 3000 KiwiCross cows
• 2500 young stock – KiwiCross
• Advanced nutrient management using Ravensdown pasture programmes & Smart Maps
• Weekly monitoring of pasture cover
• Strategies such as ‘mowing in front’, to maximise cow health & pasture residuals
• Effective irrigation management
In the 2015-2016 season, Rakaia Island prided itself on supplying 3.5 million kilograms of quality milk to Fonterra.
I like that it is family owned… Everybody is valued and there’s loyalty to the people in their business.