For five generations, the Vosper family of Cleavedale Farms in Matamata have used traditional processes to produce the highest quality natural organic milk. As one of New Zealand’s oldest Jersey breeding farms and home to Jersey Girl Organics, Cleavedale Farms is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. Alongside this exciting milestone, Jersey Girl Organics is celebrating their fifth year of operation.
The Vosper family story is one of grit and hard work; caring for the land, waters and animals against the backdrop of political and social change over the 20th century. It’s a farming story that is uniquely Kiwi and one that they happily share.
In 1911, Cleave Vosper and his brother Fred walked their cows to Matamata from Taranaki, marking the beginning of Cleavedale Farms. The farm was managed by Cleave and Mary’s son Maurice and his wife Beth, beginning in the culturally and politically turbulent 1960s. Today, the farm is managed by Cleaves’ great-great-grandson Michael Vosper.
Passed down through the generations is an appreciation of their land, and minimising the environmental impact of their farming is a top priority for the Vospers. Michael says, “We love the land we live on, the animals that share it with us, and we take pride in producing top quality milk in a way that honours natural processes.”
In 2003, Cleavedale Farms converted to an entirely organic system. They also take measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, use renewable resources instead of energy dependant herbicides and synthetics fertilisers, keep their herd numbers small to reduce their environmental impact, and promote biodiversity in their pastures through practices like releasing dung beetles in the pasture to improve their soil health and increase the efficiency of their water use.
“In a world where so many want to rush, minimise or lie- we believe in patience, generosity, honesty and doing all that is needed to let Mother Nature work her magic.”
The Vospers’ farming practices are not only good for Mother Nature, but their milk also offers nutrition benefits thanks to their pedigree Jersey herd. Cleavedale Jerseys are DNA tested for A2 β-casein genes and Jersey Girl Organic milk is 100% A2. Some symptoms of lactose intolerance can be avoided by consuming milk containing only the A2 type of beta-casein.
Meet one of the youngest Jersey Girls, Nadine (below)
Since 2014, Jersey Girl Organics has been able to deliver exceptional, delicious and award-winning milk to New Zealanders and they have been part of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards since 2017. The Vosper Family have won gold medals each year their delicious organic milk was assessed by our judges, with the latest accolade being a 2019 gold medal for their collaboration with Lewis Road Creamery (below). Last year, Jersey Girl Organics were named 2018 Champion, T&G Global Outstanding Sustainability Award.
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The Vospers share Jersey Girl Organic milk at farmers’ markets across the North Island including the Clevedon, Waikato, Tauranga, Parnell, and Cambridge Farmers’ Markets. Follow along on Facebook @jerseygirlnz and Instagram @jerseygirlorganics, and learn more at jerseygirlorganics.co.nz.
2019 Gold Medal, Lewis Road Creamery Organic Jersey Milk in partnership with Jersey Girl Organics
2018 Champion, T&G Global Outstanding Sustainability Award
2018 Gold Medal, Jersey Girl Organics, A2 Organic Milk
2017 Outstanding Producer Dairy Primary (now called ‘Dairy Champion’), Jersey Girl Organics Whole Milk