Meeting at Massey University, the Burgesses shared a dream: owning and operating their own dairy farming operation. Their path to success involved ten years of relentless problem-solving and hard work, culminating in the achievement of their dream.
Strategic Steps: Overcoming Challenges on the Path to Farm Ownership
Bill and Michelle tackled the challenge of raising equity for their farm head-on, taking calculated risks that eventually led them to farm ownership. After managing kiwi-owned farms in the USA for 2 years, they returned to New Zealand and secured a loan to purchase 250 empty cows. Opting for contract milking initially, while sending the carry-overs out grazing. After a year, they made a strategic move to a 200ha lease farm in the Waikato, bringing them one step closer to their ultimate goal of farm ownership.
Profitability at the Helm: A Goal-oriented Approach to Farming
With farm ownership in sight, the Burgesses prioritised profitability, investing in a new round yard and feed pad on the lease farm. Their strategic decisions propelled them from a system 1 farm producing 196,000kgms in their first year to a system 5, producing over 400,000kgms in their fifth year.
Turning Investments into Ownership: The Success Story of the Burgesses
The success of calculated investments in infrastructure, feed, and staff paved the way for a loan, enabling the Burgesses to purchase their own dairy farm in 2016. From zero equity to ownership in ten years, the Burgesses proved that strategic investments and thinking outside the box yield fruitful returns.
Perfecting the Dream: Seven Years of Building a Balanced Dairy System
Nestled below the Kaimai Ranges near Matamata, the Burgesses have spent the past seven years perfecting a balanced dairy system. Their dedication and hard work have resulted in a dairy operation they are proud of.
Setting New Goals: The Continuing Journey of the Burgesses
Having achieved their dream, the Burgesses set new goals, continuing to use innovative strategies to shape an operation that aligns with their vision for the future.
Family First: Balancing Life and Dairy Operations
With young kids, Alex and Sophie, Bill and Michelle now prioritise balance and simplicity. Balancing family time with a highly efficient, profitable dairy operation, they enjoy activities like Karate, Biking, and Horse riding together.
Simplifying Success: The Key to Efficient Dairy Operations
In their pursuit of simplicity, Bill emphasised, “Simplicity is the key.” Despite complex investments in cow nutrition, the Burgesses faced challenges with ketosis and transitions. In 2020, Erin from Sollus entered the scene, simplifying the minerals in the diet and giving good advice on supplement use.
Innovative Solutions: Transforming Dairy Nutrition with Sollus
Erin from Sollus, passionate about cattle nutrition, provided valuable insights. Michelle highlighted the team’s commitment to quality advice and effective solutions, emphasising the significant improvements seen with Lactisol™ and Tranzsol™ in the herd’s calving and reproductive performance.
Beyond the improvements, Bill explained that mixing their feed has become very simple. “We premix our minerals with added PKE (Palm Kernel Expeller) to produce a simple 1kg/cow/day mineral blend.”
Balancing Act: Achieving Stronger Cows and Family Thriving
The combination of Lactisol™ and the right macro mineral balance strengthened the Burgesses’ cows. Resolving issues such as ketosis, dystocia, and improving fertility, they achieved a balanced dairy system that allows their family and farm to thrive.
Optimizing Nutrition for Dairy Success: The Impact of Lactisol™ and Macro Minerals
Lactisol™ and a balanced macro mineral diet contribute to stronger cows, addressing deficiencies and preventing diseases. The Burgesses now believe in their well-balanced dairy system that supports cow performance and family well-being.
A Balanced System for the Future: The Burgess Family’s Dairy Legacy
Bill and Michelle, after years of hard work, now focus on the things that matter most. Their balanced dairy system stands as a testament to their dedication and determination, enabling them to enjoy the years ahead with a thriving family and successful farm.