PHOTO: DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFF – Rod and Sandra McKinnon say their farm is now a “pretty reasonable piece of dirt”.

Sandra McKinnon always remembers the unflattering description made of the farm she and husband Rob bought in 1992.

The 44 hectare property near Matamata was unkindly called by an industry colleague: “A nasty little wet farm and what did we think we were doing buying it.”

She admits it had little going for it at the time. But it did have a a stream and native bush and that was enough.

“It’s an ex-ballot farm, it hadn’t had a lot of work done to it,” she says.

Payment incentives could help Fonterra farmers be more sustainable
Matamata ‘Ma and Pa’ dairy farmers win top environmental award