A midlife crisis and the desire for a new challenge were the catalysts for Nathan and Rosie Hughes’ switch to smaller herd dairy farming three years ago.
The Smaller Milk and Supply Herds (SMASH) events will be held in Palmerston North on June 25, Whakatane on June 27 and Karapiro on June 29. They are designed to support smaller herd dairy farmers by providing them with relevant information and the opportunity to share their experiences with other farmers.
SMASH national chairman Noldy Rush encourages farmers to get a new perspective on different areas of the farm business by attending the event.
"These conferences are designed to enable small herd farmers to interact and share ideas with other farmers and hear from a range of experts on topics that are very relevant to the small herd farmer," says Noldy.
This is the third year the SMASH conferences, organised by a group of volunteer farmers and supported by DairyNZ, have been held.
This year's conference theme is 'smarter not harder' and aims to give farmers the tools to make their daily lives easier and their work more efficient.
The day includes sessions from well-respected speakers including Hayley Moynihan (Rabobank), Allison Moonie (people interpreter) and Bob McDavitt (Metservice).
Topics will highlight improvements farmers can make to their milking routine, outline where the industry economy is heading and show them how to polish their communication skills.
It also includes a panel of local farmers who will talk about their farming business and how they work 'smarter not harder' to get the best from their business.
A highlight of the day is the chance to celebrate 'grass roots' farming and meet with other like-minded smaller herd farmers.