“Our milk is just as nature intended. Nothing added and nothing taken out. Just good old-fashioned milk, still with the cream on top."
New business provides full cream milk direct from the farm
Your Farm, a new boutique milk business, is helping bring the clink of glass bottles back to the West Coast and has plans to make other local produce available to the community direct from the farm as well.
Anna Emmerson and John Marshall have established the new family-owned business, producing full cream milk, near Lake Brunner.
Anna and John shifted to the West Coast six years ago.
“Both John and I are from Otago. I’m born and breed on a high-country property in the Lindis Pass that has been in the family for over 100 years. Working on and manging sheep properties is what I loved and did for many years,” Anna said.
John’s family also farmed sheep around Maheno, where he learned the art of shearing and later worked for a neighbour down the road milking cows.
Anna and John ended up in Canterbury, where John share milked a 1,200-cow dairy farm and then converted another farm into a dairy unit. Anna brought a small piece of land that she set up to produce top-quality merino wool.
“We worked our butts off and pooled our money together and after a year settled on buying a farm on the West Coast,” Anna said.
“We love our small community at Moana. The people are what makes the Coast what it is. And the main reason why Your Farm exists is so Coasters can enjoy full cream milk direct from our farm as if it was their own.”
West Coast goodness
“We operate Your Farm based on regenerative agriculture methods with animal health and welfare being our top priority. Our motto is centred around healthy soils, healthy animals, healthy people,” Anna explained.
They believe the rural/urban divide is increasing and want to improve awareness about where and how food is produced.
“We want to sell our products straight into our community so that people in town have a connection with us and the land and know and understand what we do.
“It’s all about selling good old-fashioned food from our farm to our community at a fair price for all.”
More than just milk
Your Farm is not just about the clink of glass milk bottles, the business has big plans in the pipeline.
“We both like the idea of adding value and also like to stack lots of business on one piece of land and still look after the environment,” Anna said.
They plant 200 trees every year to improve the biodiversity of their land. From firewood, bees and birds, and furniture, all trees are grown with a future in mind.
“We have crazy things like maples to make maple syrup, mulberry bushes, hundreds of fruit trees and nut trees, and pigs and ducks feeding under the trees.
“We whole heartedly believe it all starts in the soil, so we are putting in the hard yards to build carbon and give the Coast a more nutrient dense food.
“Calves stay on cows till weaning time. We use Speckled Park as our back up bulls they are fantastic for marbling of meat and they look cool too.
“One day you’ll be able to buy half a beast direct from Your Farm and come out and see for yourself what we are doing.
“The possibilities are endless but with a young family it is just getting time to do it all.”
Embracing our Untamed Natural Wilderness
“As demand for traceability increases so too does the desire for locally grown produce with a story that connects with your needs and desires - that’s where Your Farm comes in,” Anna said.
Development West Coast Chief Executive Heath Milne agrees.
“The West Coast’s pristine natural environment gives us a truly authentic provenance story.
“Our lush green pastures, fertile soils and abundant clean water help us produce some of the most nutritious and delicious food and drink in the world. With these natural advantages, the agri-food sector presents a great opportunity on the West Coast for economic growth.
“As a region we have a lot to be proud about in our food and beverage industry, and Your Farm is a great new addition.”