Guiney family share key strategies that helped them buy into 2,350ac
Financial discipline and sustainable farm systems that can be easily replicated have been the main drivers behind a New Zealand dairy farm expansion that would make many an Irish dairyman's eyes water.
Husband-and-wife team Leonie and Kieran Guiney have gone from an 800-cow share milking herd to a 3,000-cow dairy business with 950ha of owned land and four of their own share milkers in just over 10 years.
The couple, Kiwi Leonie and Kilkenny native Kieran, increased their equity from NZ$850,000 (€519,000) in 2002 to a multi-million dollar business that is doing well enough for the pair and their four children to move to France for a year.
Taking time out from their French experience, all six members of the family attended the Positive Farmers Conference in Clonmel last week.
"We're not here to tell our story and say 'look at us, aren't we fantastic' - I cringe at the thought," Leonie told the 450 farmers packed into the Clonmel Park Hotel.
"We are here to share our experience and show how much can be done if you apply certain principles to your dairy business.
"You need to be clear about what you want and why, then write it down and tell people about it," she continued.
The Guiney business story began back in 2002 when the couple hired a babysitter and took three days to write a vision statement that described everything they wanted to get out of life.