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Hughson Family

They milk 180 cows on the 72ha farm and 670 cows on the bigger farm, with Peter and June’s son looking after the majority of the day-to-day running of the properties now.

There are plans to make significant changes to the farming units and they are in the process of building a new cow shed, something the bank has played a big role in making happen, Peter says.

“We had two sons at home, one on each farm, but one son married and had an opportunity to go to Putaruru and work for his wife’s family, so that’s what he’s doing.”

They decided to build a new cow shed on the 300ha block, split the farm in half and milk 430 cows on each half. 

“That means we will have less walking. Walking is a problem on this farm because it’s rolling country, not flat. It originally was a ballot block and was a sheep farm,” he explains. 

Hughson Family

By taking 90ha from the larger farm and adding it to the smaller farm, they plan to create two even sized dairy units and eliminate the walking issue. The new cow shed is nearly finished and is due to be ready for milking on July 20. 

“Now with one son at home, he will buy into the business and will put money in to start building his shareholding in the business. The bank is more than happy to help him with his loans to get started and have also been forthcoming with the new cow shed, which is a significant investment.” 
Hughson Family

Peter says they moved to Rabobank seven years ago when their bank manager at the time, Bruce, moved.

“We went because of the really good relationship. He’s firm, but we’re able to discuss things. Rabobank has been pretty good to us. In my time with them I have bought a lovely beach house at Papamoa and another farm. They make it relatively easy.” 

Since then, Bruce has moved up to be Regional Manager and the couple has had several different managers, but they have enjoyed good relationships with them all.

“It doesn’t matter who you deal with in there, we have always been more than happy.

And at the end of the day, we can always ring Bruce. We value his input, and what he says goes,” Peter says.

“I think the relationship with the bank is absolutely imperative. Having a manager we can relate to, discuss things with and have regular contact with – they do it all.

“Banks have changed. Nowadays the bank comes to visit us – it’s brilliant.”