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Andrew Garshaw and Alicia McPike


Andrew Garshaw and Alicia McPike

AkaAka

Franklin, Auckland

Farm 90 hectares effective

Herd Currently 270 Friesian and Ayrshire cows

Production 430kgms per cow with a goal of 500kgms

Farm system 2-3

Alicia McPike and Andrew Garshaw are midway through their first season as 50/50 sharemilkers on the 90 hectare Aka Aka farm.

“We moved to the farm at the start of the 2019/2020 year so, outside of herd management, much of the season has been spent getting the pasture to where we need it to be to maintain a System 2-3 production system.

“Previous to coming to this property we were working on Andrew’s parents’ farm at Otaua but when a local sharemilking job came up – coinciding with my parents selling their herd – we jumped at the chance to go out on our own.

“My parent’s herd was predominantly Ayrshire, a mix of New Zealand and North American genetics. They were good producers and we were delighted to be able to retain the genetics, adding 30 cows we already owned and buying in others to make up the numbers. The combined herd is a mix of pedigree Ayrshire and Holsteins with the balance purebred. I

“I’ve always loved Ayrshires, they’re intelligent, have great natures, are hardy and fantastic foragers and they more than compete with the Holsteins.

“Both sets of parents believed and used North American genetics on their respective herds, and our cows are a reflection of that investment. We have a beautifully uddered herd, one benefit of which is low cell counts.

“We’re very fussy about conformation and udders and find overseas genetics provide us with the traits we’re after - our cows have to have the goods to produce from a relatively low input system, and they have to last.


“We cherry-pick the best bulls from US genetics companies – currently around 25% of the herd is World Wide Sires. We’ve used around 120 straws of Regan and love his daughters. We also particularly like Burdette and Double Barrel.”

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