Malcolm and Linda Jensen farm a 200 hectare block in the Manawatu
While only with NZ Grazing since 2018, they have clearly demonstrated how good planning leads to their success as one of NZ Grazing’s top growers. Although Malcolm is born to the land on which he currently farms, there is no sitting still as he and Linda seek to get the best use out of that land. As you can see from the photos, and sense from their responses they love the challenges that grazing replacement stock provides
Richard Hammond, Service Manager
Malcolm and Linda farm 200 hectares (180 usable), just out of the Apiti township. At 457 metres above sea level, it’s a high uplift of land between two river systems, and can get cold in the winter.
Malcolm has been on the farm his whole life. Linda joined him 30 years ago and, together, they bought the farm from Malcolm’s parents. In the beginning they ran the farm as a sheep and beef unit.
They have two adult children. One is a shepherd in the South Island and the other an Early Childhood Education teacher in training
How did you find out about NZ Grazing Company?
We replied to an advertisement in the local paper and contacted Richard. Richard then came to talk to us.
He arranges the animals that come on our farm, and the regular contact with him and Amanda has made things easy. The fact that they act between us and the owners allows us to focus on growing the heifers.
Knowing that Richard and Amanda are always available gives us trust in the decision we made to use the NZG system.
What do you value about working with NZ Grazing?
We enjoy the fact that Richard is always available to coach us and act as a sounding board for our ideas. We value the assistance we receive from Richard.
We are very happy with the quality of stock that we receive, whether at the weaner stage or from May to May. Tt is great to be able to have owners of the stock who have already grown them well, but we work hard to continue that good start.
Having the monthly weighs and the reporting gives us an understanding of how the heifers are growing. If we grow them well we get the bonuses – contracts are incentivised to ensure that we send great animals back to their owners
What type of grower farmers would benefit working with NZ Grazing?
We think that all types of farms can work within the NZ Grazing System.
Dairy replacement stock needs to be looked after and fed well to get the benefits offered by grazing with NZ Grazing. We treat the animals as if they were our own. We really work hard in the first six months to get them to grow so that they are not playing catch up towards the end of the contract, when the warm weather kicks in.
It helps that we enjoy being around the heifers. This makes it easy for them when we take them up for their monthly weigh, or when moving them from paddock to paddock. They stay calm, even when we put them on the scales.
Why do you think that you are so good at what you do?
When we take on weaners or heifers we expect that they are in good health and that lines are evenly grown. We assume that these animals have all had their vaccinations and drench prior to arriving on our farm.
We have a good plan for farm use to ensure constant availability of feed that will lead to consistent growth of the heifers. Weather conditions up here do not allow constant grass growth, so we use crops. In the peak of winter we strip feed crops (Kale) to all heifers. We aim to feed 7 – 9kg dry matter per day: with a mix of 0.8 – 1 kg of palm kernel; 2 kg of baleage; 4 – 6 kg of crop; and adlib of hay, water and multi-mineral salt blocks.
Having all heifers on crops allows a good grass cover to be built up once we have finished the crops. Grass is then brake fed, taking us to the spring flush.
What do you do to relax?
In the spare time that becomes available, I like nothing better than getting out into the nature that surrounds my farm. I love a good day out fishing – and if I have more time I enjoy going out to cull a few deer from the nearby highlands
I work three days a week at Tui Early Learners in Palmerston North, which is a day-care that my sister in law owns. I do the admin work there and occasionally help out with the children. So I get a nice balance with going to work in town and the other four days on the farm with Malcolm. In my spare time I enjoy getting out in my extensive garden .