Raising calves to weaning and sending them to grazing is a winning fundraising formula for the Riversdale/Waikaia Church.
The church uses the funds made from the calf rearing operation to fund its 3D Discipleship courses.
The 3D stands for development – understanding what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century; disciple – learning how to grow in Christ-like character; and deploy – putting the training together with an outreach.
Church pastor John Gullick said the fundraising scheme had been running since 2012.
This year the organisation is raising 55 calves.
Mr Gullick has put out the call for farmers to take weaned calves and graze them.
The bull calves were gifted or bought, then raised in covered yards on a farm, Mr Gullick said.
The calves were weaned at 100kg and then placed on farms.
Some calves were sold for fattening, while the majority were raised to killing weight, he said.
“It [the fundraiser] actually fits the rural context,” he said.
The farmers donated the grazing for the scheme, he said.
This year the church had to pay more for the calves than other years, as the market was extremely buoyant, he said.
The breeds included Friesian crosses.
The calves were grazed on farms over a wide area in Northern and Eastern Southland, he said.