Next Farm System Trial: Off Paddock Infrastructure v paddock-based wintering, and lower nutrient losses - Read the update HERE

How we're set up


Leading Innovation for
Southern Farmer's Prosperity


Be the most trusted Research and Demonstration hub for New Zealand

What we do

Comparative farm-systems research at scale, complementary projects to FS trial, rapid innovation - demonstration.

Structure and governance is separated into two distinct parts;

About the Southland Demonstration and Research Farm (operations and management)

The Southern Demonstration and Research Farm Limited (SDRF) is a charitable company fully owned by the Southern Dairy Development Trust (SDDT). SDRF operates the hub, including the farm and will contract researchers for the Hub. It will lease assets from Southern Dairy Hub Limited Partnership (SDH LP).

About the Southern Dairy Development Trust

The Trust is a charitable trust and was borne out of an initiative in 2007 to establish an entity that could provide Southland with a dedicated research or demonstration farm focused on dairying.

 The principle objectives of SDDT is to foster the regional development of sustainable and profitable dairy farming within Southland and West Otago.

The trust is the sole shareholder of the Southland Demonstration Farm Limited, which leases and operates a dairy farm near Wallacetown.

Trust Vision: Fostering the regional development of sustainable and profitable dairy farming.

Trust Mission: Working with key dairy stakeholders to identify, support, govern and promote projects that create positive benefits for Southern dairy farmers profit, people and environment.

Trust Objectives: As part of delivering tangible benefits to dairy farmers in the Southern Region the Trust is involved in three key areas:

  • Southern Dairy Hub

  • Business Education

  • Local Dairying Issues

About Southern Dairy Hub Limited Partnership (SDH LP)

AgResearch, DairyNZ and the Southern Dairy Development Trust (SDDT) have entered into a Limited Partnership (LP) to form the Southern Dairy Hub (SDH). AgResearch and DairyNZ hold equal shares in the LP of 37.55% and SDDT holds the remaining 24.9%.

SDDT’s share in the LP cannot exceed 25% due to its dual relationship as lessee and lessor; otherwise its tax free status as a registered charity will be compromised.

SDH General Partnership Limited (SDHGP) has been set up to operate as a general partner (whose shareholders will be AgResearch, DairyNZ and SDDT) to ensure the best structure for tax purposes while maintaining limited liability for the partners. It has the authority to bind the LP.

SDH LP Board of Directors

About the Research Advisory Committee

Made up of science representatives from southern farmers, AgResearch and DairyNZ is tasked with canvassing the needs of the wider southern farming community and considering what research and specific projects would be most beneficial, and what the technical requirements of each will be.  Recommendations are made to the operating body at the Hub, the Southern Demonstration and Research Farm Limited, to consider issues such as cost and how the research will fit within the constraints of the working farm and the wider remit of the Hub, before any approval can be given.

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