Getting to know Shaun and Heidi
Shaun and Heidi have been partnering with the Gourmet Greek since the day they started on their farming journey. We love everything that they do and would love to introduce them to you so you can see what we see!
• A Farmer who is farming because he is passionate • A Farmer who is hands on and not afraid of hard work • A Farmer who loves and cares for his animals • Healthy, Beautiful animals which are raised and grazed on pasture
How long have you been farming?
Shaun has been involved in agriculture for most of his life. The opportunity to start our own dairy farm presented itself in October 2016.
Why do you do it?
We often ask ourselves this exact question! Especially when it's -2 at 4:30am on a cold winters morning. But the real answer is- passion! Passion for dairy farming that started when Shaun was in kiddies blue gumboots on a family friend's farm in Mooi River.
Why the Jerseys?
Jerseys produce high quality milk with lower volumes than other dairy breeds, but offer great opportunity in small niche market farming. They also fit our system well and are a pleasure to work with.
Tell me more about the Jerseys and you got any favourites?
We started with 10 jerseys and because of the small numbers, we were able to take note of each individual's character. There are three special ladies- Katherine, Zuma and Mafuso who will let you stroke them and appreciate a good neck scratch! Of course, because they are tame, they're a little bit of a pain to work with in the dairy because they're under the impression that they own the place! We now milk 41 cows, and can't wait to add to the herd and plan to milk between 60 and 70 cows as the business grows.
Real world vs. Romance ? Due to Shaun's past experience farming, he wasn't fooled by the romance of farming, but we were admittedly a little romanced by the idea of owning our own business! We've since learned that owning your own business can be incredibly consuming and challenging, but that's not to say that there aren't some definite highlights, not to mention our quality of life living somewhere so incredibly beautiful among these gentle animals!
Any words for aspiring Farmers:
Starting out as a young farmer is an incredible challenge. I don't recommend trying it without a fierce faith in the Lord! Practically, we would recommend bouncing as many ideas as you can off farmers who have gone before you, gleaning as much information as possible. If possible, partner with people that compliment your strengths and make up for your weaknesses. Farming is half the game; knowing your business and juggling your cash flow are pivotal to your success.