Boundary Road Farm is a 72ha dairy farm around 30km south of Rotorua. The farm forms part of the Onuku Māori Lands Trust – one of this years finalists for the prestigeous Ahuwhenua Trophy.
On 12 April, the trust hosted a field day. It’s a chance for finalists to showcase their farm to the public and judges alike. One of the people helping to showcase the farm was 28 year old farm manager Alan Rondon.
Whānau connection to the land
The land had been managed by the Departments of Lands and Survey from 1963 until it was returned to Ngāti Rangitihi in 1982 when the Onuku Māori Lands Trust was formed. And Alan has a close connection to the early days of the trust.Onuku farm manager Alan Rondon (right) speaks with John Rutherford from Allflex
“My koro’s brother was one of the original trustees, back when the Onuku Māori Lands Trust was formed” says Alan.
“My koro (Bobby Rondon) just passed last year – he always used to ask me about the farm”.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is now in its 85 year and it’s a source of pride for Alan, knowing the farm he manages is a finalist.“It was a bit of a surprise when they told me they’d entered it! But if they thought I was doing a decent enough job for the trust to enter it, then I’m (feeling) a bit proud!”
Onuku Māori Lands Trust also have big plans for the farm with a focus on protecting the environment. They’re a part of a local farming initiative to help better protect waterways and lakes, and meeting this challenge is something Alan enjoys.
“We want to get that nitrogen loss down and environmentally – breeding bigger cows and having less of them but producing the same amount of milk. I enjoy that goal”.
The other Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists are Mawhera Incorporation who hosted their own field day on 5 April. The winner will be announced at the annual awards dinner, this year held on 25 May in Christchurch.
Te Tumu Paeroa are proud to be gold sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Trophy and supporting Māori excellence in farming.