John and Margaret Halden migrated to New Zealand in 1973 and have not looked back since.
John first signed up with New Zealand Grazing in 1990. Now he is in his 31st season with New Zealand grazing, and sees no reason to change.
Mandy Damsteegt – Service Manager
John came from a farming background. His father was a tenant on a farm in the UK which ended up being sold. His father received a payout, which enabled him to retire. John felt he had always wanted to own his own farm, and realised that was going to be very difficult in the UK.
John who is 77 years young now, immigrated to New Zealand from the UK in 1973 with his wife Margaret, who is 75 years young now. At that time they had 2 children and one on the way
We asked him Why New Zealand?
He said he played the Goldilocks theme,
- Aussie too hot,
- Canada too cold
- New Zealand was just right!!
We asked him about his “Farming Traditions”
He has owned 3 farms since his arrival, and now lives on his 86 hectare farm in Ngatea. His son Steve manages the farm for him, but he still gets up every day at 5.30am to milk 230 Friesian Cows. His grandson helps out with relief milking at times
We asked him – “Why New Zealand Grazing?”
John came to New Zealand Grazing after a few years of disasters with private graziers. He looks at grazing his heifers with New Zealand Grazing, as an extra labour unit he doesn’t have to worry about. He loves the fact that from the trucking; drenching; vaccinations; bull mating; Pregnancy Diagnosis, it is all taken care of for him. He enjoys getting his monthly MDM report and seeing how his heifers are tracking. And yes some years have not been as good as others, but he has the confidence that we will do our best for his stock.
Now he is in his 31st season with New Zealand grazing, and sees no reason to change, because our system suits his requirements. It also relieves pressure on two ages of stock, that are not having to run on the home farm.
During Covid 19, last March and April 2020, he had no concerns that his animals were being well looked after, even though he couldn’t visit them.
John believes his heifers have seen more of the north island than he has, as they have grazed in Northland, Waikato, and are presently in Dannevirke. John has always enjoyed going to the final weigh to see the grower and thank him for the great job he has done. When he is not out having a catch up with his Service Manager, John enjoys playing chess, radio morse code, and classical music.
His current Service Manager is Mandy Damsteegt, who is sure that, (including in her previous role as a Weigh Technician), she has weighed every one of the animals on his farm.