From honeymoon to dairy farming

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Farm life . . . (from left) Dairy famers Ollie and Lauren Badcock with 7 month old Wilfred moved near Gore last year. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Dairy Women’s Network member Lauren Badcock traded a career in law for greener pastures.

Alongside husband Ollie, the pair moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 2018.

“We gave up our jobs in the UK and came to New Zealand for our honeymoon and we didn’t go back home.

“I got a job with Ollie on the farm and I haven’t really looked back.”

Dairy farming was what she was passionate about, Mrs Badcock said.

The couple started contract dairy farming in the middle of last year.

They ran a farm with 500 cows and two staff members.

“We have a full team which allows us to breathe a little because it is not a good year to be understaffed.”

Building stock numbers and growing cows for share milking was their main aim, Mrs Badcock said.

“We would like to one day own our own farm.”

It was the dairy farming opportunities which brought the couple to New Zealand, she said.

“We’ve been half way around the world, we had travelled to Australia and loved it and we got home and we just weren’t happy, we missed the southern hemisphere.”

Her time as a dairy farmer had not come without its challenges.

In the first year, Mr Badcock broke his leg and had to be airlifted to Dunedin from the farm they worked on in Clinton.

“It was the first week into calving season, so Lauren was doing 14 to 15 hours on the farm and would drive to Dunedin every day to see me,” Mr Badcock said.

“Then she would drive home and do it all over again – Lauren had a baptism by fire that year.”

The couple spent two years dairy farming in Clinton before shifting to the Gore district after receiving their full residency.

The Dairy Women’s Network had helped her build connections within the area, Mrs Badcock said.

“Being a young couple without a family around and moving to a rural area is a little hard, so Dairy Women’s [Network] has been good for me to spread my network.

“We’ve been lucky to find people who are gems and who have been very helpful.”