Journey to excellence with Northland's Dairy Farming Champions

Journey to excellence with Northland's Dairy Farming Champions

The Northland Dairy Industry Awards were held recently where Jeremy and Kate Mounter were named the winners of the 2024 Northland Share Farmer of the Year category.

Kate Mounter joins Dom George to recount the remarkable transition from a high school gym teacher to a celebrated dairy farmer alongside her husband, Jeremy. 

She delves into the transformative practices they have adopted at Moss and Margaret Pepper's farm, emphasising their commitment to once-a-day milking—a significant shift from the farm's 50-year history of twice-a-day milking. 

"We're now breaking their twice-a-day farming record production," she explains, highlighting the Mounter's success in elevating the farm's productivity. 

Their strategy revolves around meticulous pasture management and reducing nitrogen use, yet the couple doesn't lose sight of their core values, ensuring the well-being of their team and animals. The Mounters' approach to flexible work schedules stands out as a testament to their philosophy. 

"No one has to get up before dawn, the cups are on at 7:30," Mounter explains, illustrating their unique system where staff choose their working days, fostering a sense of investment and value among the team. 

She also honours the late Moss Pepper, a conservationist at heart, for his early contributions to the environment that align well with their farming ethos. Mounter's narrative also includes a fascinating career journey that spans beyond the pastures. Before farming, she was instrumental in the early stages of the ITM Fishing Show with Matt Watson, handling a plethora of roles from camera work to sponsorships. 

Her eclectic experience paved the way for the couple's successful foray into share farming, proving that a diverse skill set can be a formidable asset in any industry. Aside from farming, Mounter's entrepreneurial spirit shines through as she talks about her side venture, Parachute First Aid, founded with her friend Amber. 

They provide specialized first aid kits, demonstrating Mounter's multifaceted capabilities and her drive to address practical needs across different sectors. The conversation not only celebrates the Mounters' triumph in regional dairy farming but also underscores their innovative spirit and adaptability. 

"Now we're pretty fired up to try and really showcase what we're doing for the Nationals, which is a whole new ball game," Mounter says.

Their story is an inspiring reminder that with versatility and dedication, success can be cultivated in any field.

Listen to the full chat between Kate Mounter and Dominic George above.

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