Farmers encouraged to open their gates to connect with urban New Zealand

// Resilience and Wellbeing

Greg and Rachel Hart are opening their Mangarara Station gates on Open Farms Day (Sunday 1 March), and inviting urban Kiwis to learn about their how they farm first-hand.

Open Farms Greg Lisa Hart

The Hart family are on a mission to connect New Zealanders with what they eat, how they live, and back to the farm where it all begins.

Greg Hart says, “When we learned about Open Farms Day, it was a no-brainer for us.”

“We love sharing Mangarara Station and offering the farm as a place where people can connect back to the land.”

Their 600 hectare farm south-east of Hastings between Waipawa and the coast is made up of a 30-hectare lake, some flat terrain, and a steeper hill country block.  The farm comprises of free-range, re-generatively farmed angus cattle, texel sheep, berkshire pigs and a portable hen house.

The family enjoys sharing their farming story with others by keeping their gates open on a regular basis.

Greg says, “Opening our gates regularly has helped us build important relationships and has continued to showed us that anything is possible.”

“Most farmers I know are extremely passionate about their farm and everything that it encompasses. It would be great if we could get this message across to everyday New Zealanders.”

“Registering for Open Farms was really easy, and you get a ton of information and support from the Open Farms team. I highly encourage others to open their gates to Kiwis and strike up a conversation about what farming is really like,” says Greg.

About B+LNZ and Open Farms

One of the most frequent requests that Beef + Lamb New Zealand has from farmers is that we need to better connect farmers with urban communities and tell the farmer story better.

In response to this, B+LNZ has become a founding partner of Open Farms - an independent, grassroots movement designed to reconnect urban Kiwis with our land, food, and farmers.
Sam McIvor, B+LNZ’s CEO says, “Like Open Farms, we believe that providing New Zealanders with the opportunity to have a genuine on-farm experience and better connect them with the people and places that grow their food is hugely important for our country.”

B+LNZ encourage you to register and host an Open Farms Day on Sunday 1 March. Information on how to do this is below, but the key thing is to register your interest and start the process. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity to tell your story, your way, and help build better relationships between urban and rural New Zealand. Help us show New Zealanders’ first-hand just how much care and passion our farmers put into producing the food we eat and the fibres that we wear,” says Sam.

Registration process

Open Farms have made it easy to host, they support you with guidelines, tips and tech. All you have to do is register and plan the day to suit you. Open Farms take care of the marketing, visitor registration, as well as ongoing support for farmers who are involved.