Public invited to southern farms

East Otago dairy farmer Shelli Mears is set to open her farm gates to the public next month....
East Otago dairy farmer Shelli Mears is set to open her farm gates to the public next month. PHOTO: SRL FILES
An annual national open farm day includes three southern properties next month.

An aim of the Open Farms event is to reconnect New Zealanders with the source of their food.

Farmers across New Zealand will open the gates of 23 properties to the public on Sunday, March 10.

Dairy farm Otago Fresh Milk, near Palmerston in East Otago, will open to visitors between 11am and 4pm.

Otago Fresh Milk owner Shelli Mears said she was inviting the public to see how her family cared for their cows and produced high-quality milk.

"We enjoy sharing our passion for the cows with other people."

Events planned there included demonstrations of calf feeding, separating cream and milking cows, Mrs Mears said.

A calf on the farm is due to arrive three days before the event so she hoped it would be part of the calf-feeding demonstration.

"There’s no guarantees."

Some older calves were on standby if the wee calf was a late arrival, she said.

Depending on the temperature on the day, there would be a demonstration of how to make either butter or ice cream.

"You can’t make butter on a hot day."

Otago Fresh Milk had been a host farm before, Mrs Mears said.

"We found it really valuable. We get a lot of people from town who want their children to see how a farm works and get up close and personal with the animals."

Sheep and beef farm Westwood, near Tuatapere in Western Southland, will open from 10am-2pm.

The activities planned there included a wool spinning demonstration and a chance to install a temporary fence and work with hay bales.

Sheep, beef, goat and alpaca farm Pari Nui, in Dunedin, will open from 10am-1.30pm.

People can register to visit a farm at


Southern Field Days 2024 - Featured Businesses