Merry Christmas from Southern Dairy Hub 🎄

Message from Simon Flood, Board Chair

Thank you to everyone for their support of the Southern Dairy Hub in a year where we celebrated our five-year anniversary in June. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support and generosity of our sponsors and the farming community. Whether it was sponsorship, attendance at the field days or just taking an interest in the things that we do at the Hub and using the research to improve productivity we thank you. 

We’re also enormously grateful for the support of SDDT, SDH and members of our wider Hub family, DairyNZ and AgResearch, and I look forward to our ongoing collaboration in 2024. 

I also want to acknowledge and thank the team at the Hub. They have done a great job in what at times have been challenging circumstances! Juggling the dynamics of an operating farm system along with the complexities and rigour of research, not to mention coping with the increasing volatile weather. This includes the DairyNZ and AgResearch teams who are the driving force behind the incredible research underway in Wallacetown. 

We said goodbye to long-term GM Lousie Cook, earlier in the year and welcomed Andrea Dixon to the helm. Over the last six months, she’s been getting up to speed with the Hub, our research capabilities, and our people. I’m excited that she’s helping us to evolve in 2024 as we focus on improving the delivery of what we do to increase the relevance of the Hub for all our stakeholders. 

In 2023, we took a major step forward in our communication with our stakeholders and the southern farming community. I look forward to building on these improved communication channels in 2024, sharing the research results from the Hub with you more frequently and communicating with you in a way that is best for you. 

We exist to improve the lot of southern dairy farmers and I encourage you to reach out to me or the team if there is anything you think we should be doing or could do doing better – or even if you have some positive feedback on what’s working for you. 

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and I look forward to catching up with you again in 2024.

Recycled Christmas: Santa made of baleage wrap with baleage netting for the hair – Christmas trees constructed from old pellets.

Message from Andrea Dixon, General Manager

Merry Christmas everyone! I wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed connecting with many of you over the last six months and look forward to connecting again, and with those of you I haven’t managed to chat to yet, in 2024. 

The Southern Dairy Hub is an asset that everyone in Southland should be proud of. Joining the team as General Manager has been eye-opening. The complexity of running an operating farm while conducting robust research is a game changer. The fact our farmers don’t have to do this on their farms, to test theories and try out different practices, and that it gets done for them at the Hub – is such a win for our region. 

If you haven’t ventured onto the Hub yet, then I personally invite you. It’s fascinating, incredibly interesting and you won’t regret it. Come along to one of our field days – next one 12 March – or drop me an email if you want to pop in. 

If you’re working on farm this holiday, then I wish you good weather, happy cows and some time away to relax.