Introducing Matt Adkins

Matt had been farming for 28 years before selling his herd and coming to work for Samen NZ. He’d always wanted to be a farmer, and after studying at Lincoln for a year, jumped straight into farming full time. “I went to school with mates who were on farms. Some dairy farmers, sheep farmers, crop farmers, and always liked getting out on the farm. I always wanted to go farming, it’s all I can remember ever wanting to do,” he says.

He found his love for breeding after his experience with red cows and seeing how much they excelled compared to his Friesian cows.

He’d originally bought the red cows for their looks, thinking they would be something different in the paddock, but he was blown away with how they got in calf and their health compared to the Friesians. “They get in calf, and they don’t go lame. The red cows just do better, they’re better cows, longevity, they don’t worry about the heat they don’t worry about the cold, they’re tougher cows that suited our system,” he explains.

“We were breeding for cows that had longevity, could get in calf, had good udders, good feet and what we thought were a good-looking cow. We liked solid, typical, pretty even 50-50 black and white Friesians with the five white points, or red cows. We didn’t care if they were solid red, mottled, patchy, whatever. But I really like my red cows.”

When it comes to working with Samen NZ, Matt says the bit he enjoys most is that he still feels like a farmer. “People recognise that I was a farmer, they’ve met me, they trust me. You have this knowledge you’ve learned through being on farm and doing it long enough. I like being able to share my knowledge. I don’t know everything, but I know what worked for me, and I reckon I know what could work in other people’s situations. I still feel like I am a farmer.”


Matt Adkins covers Northern Canterbury and the West Coast. Get in touch with Matt to discuss your herds genetic future today.

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