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Æ Regen Farm Visit tour NZ 2021 - S01E03 Norsewood Dairy

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Æ Action Ecology - Regenerative Farming Tour of Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 - Episode 3: Norsewood Dairy, Manawatu

In February and March of 2021, I rode my motorcycle solo around Aotearoa New Zealand to both better get to know my adopted home and also to have an opportunity to spend time with many of the leading regenerative farmers around the country.

While I was doing this it made sense to record some of that journey so I could share their stories and a little of their wisdom with the wider world.
That turned into a short series of films looking to get inside the thinking and decision making of these farmers and help others understand what it's all about.

In this episode I visit Russell & Charlotte Heald in Norsewood (in Eastern Manawatu near to Hawke's Bay).
Their story is a brilliant example of how powerful the shift from a 'conventional' system to a regenerative mindset can be - both for the farm as a business, but also as way of life.
If you want to see some more around their operation, they are profiled as a Calm the Farm case study.

This visit wasn't planned ahead of time, and in fact I didn't even know Russell and Charlotte before that day, however I was riding from Hawke's Bay to Kapiti Coast and at the last minute a mutual friend said that I should stop off at their farm on my way. I was passed their contact details and after a brief phone call I was invited to stop by.
It was a really brief visit but I had a such great time. They are such warm and welcoming people, and the farm tour that Russell took me on was a real eye-opener in the sense that what (from a distance) looked at first like your normal dairy farm pastures revealed on closer inspection to be bursting with vigour and humming with life. Humid at soil level - even in drying winds at the end of a long dry summer - and featuring some of the friendliest most relaxed cows I'd seen. The effects of his careful management, the diverse pasture species and focus on regenerative principles were clear to see.

Russell's excitement and genuine passion for his work as steward of the biological system he manages was infectious. I'm looking forward to returning some day soon.

Take a look and I hope you enjoy it.

To watch it on YouTube, follow this link.

Stay tuned for more episodes in the series coming soon.
To be notified when they release, subscribe to Action Ecology on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPxS-jSF1HgxKbJvYipW8LQ

- Shane Ward