DEPARTMENT: Lessons Learned By Farmers | Lessons Learned by Andrew & Sarah
Andrew and Sarah Carr completed an 830 cow dairy farm conversion in Mayfield, Mid-Canterbury in 2015. The Carr’s passion is feeding animals and making them look great, so they built a self-contained operation. Andrew’s main pieces of advice to farmers looking at conversion are don’t swamp yourself with information, don’t give your cell phone number to everyone. Talk to local dairy farmers with good reputations, farmers that you respect and understand the lessons they have learned from developing and operating their dairy farm. Take on a dairy consultant with a strong reputation to manage the areas of the project where you don’t have sufficient knowledge. The conversion project is all about people management. Reference check all of your contractors, make sure you are going to be working with good people with relevant experience. Once the project is rolling, don’t lose your temper when things go wrong. Manage the people well. Outline your expectations clearly and work with your vendors to achieve a good outcome for all parties.