Farm Fresh Milk
The enthusiasm for Real Milk has been growing in New Zealand. People love the taste, they love the health benefits, and they love supporting their local farmers.
Village Milk helps farmers throughout New Zealand to bring you high quality raw drinking milk through our advice service and our installation of dispensing machines. We focus on helping farmers to produce the best, highest quality raw drinking milk possible.
We know we’re on to a good thing with real milk. We see it in the faces of the kids when they come to the farm. To us, this business is about sharing this feeling with other farmers and helping them to provide really good milk to the public in a really convenient way.
Keeping it country; keeping it Fresh.
The Village Milk concept is the perfect fit for Oxford farmers Geoff and Sandra Rountree.
It has enabled the couple to once again make use of the 10-a-side dairy shed that has been lying redundant on their 74ha farm for the past eight years.
But most importantly it has enabled them to return to an industry they love without the pressure of scale.
Geoff was born and bred on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Christchurch and has spent most of his working-life milking cows from relief milking to share milking in South Otago.
He even met his wife Sandra in a dairy shed when she was working as a herd tester.
The couple, who now have three grown-up daughters, moved to their Oxford farm just 2kms from Oxford township 22 years ago and continued to milk 105 pedigree Friesian cows on their own account for factory supply.
At the same time Geoff was building a contracting business and nine years ago the couple made the decision to stop milking and concentrate on contracting, dairy support and running a Murray Grey stud.
While Geoff’s business kept him busy, he still missed milking cows and while he did some relief milking for large-scale dairy operations, he didn’t enjoy what he describes as “drone” milking.
He says he had often walked past their dairy shed and thought that it would once again be used for a small niche business, so when he and Sandra heard about Village Milk they knew it was perfect for them.
“We knew we already had the site and we are close to the township so we knew this concept would fit here.”
They will be milking 18-20 cows throughout the year, so will have a total of 40 cows; half calving in spring and half in autumn to ensure year round milk supply.
To start their herd they have bought and leased spring-calving cows and are on the look-out for autumn-calving cows. Geoff admits he does love his Friesians so the herd will definitely be black and white.
Geoff says milking just a small number of cows at any one time means there is no herd pressure and certainly no pressure on feed.
The farm’s heavy clay soils hold onto moisture and this factor combined with frequent Nor West showers means that unlike most of Canterbury, the Rountree’s farm is summer-safe.