After a week working on a dairy farm, Mark Williams swore he would never be a dairy farmer. The work experience came as he was studying at the Telford Farm Training Institute.
To his surprise he ended up running his own dairy farm in Aylesbury, along with wife Kelsey and their children, Reeve and Addison.
Eight years later, Mark has found a real passion for the family business, Aylesbury Creamery, delivering A2 farm fresh raw milk to customer’s doorsteps and selling it from a vending machine on their farm, a 10 minute drive from Rolleston.
It’s a busy life being a dairy farmer, working a minimum of 12 hours every day of the year including Christmas, Mark says, but the hard work pays off when he sees customers benefitting from Aylesbury Creamery’s products.
Fifty of the farm’s 350 cows are milked for their A2 protein to produce farm fresh raw milk, which is full of good bacteria usually killed off during pasteurisation.
Many of Mark’s customers report seeing health benefits from the milk, he says.
“When you’re helping people with their health, it makes you feel good about what you do.”
The Williams’ business is focused on being as sustainable as possible, limiting the amount of spray used and selling their raw milk in reusable glass bottles instead of plastic, saving over 240,000 one-litre plastic bottles.
The family enjoys working in Selwyn, because it is not too far from Christchurch and there are some amazing sunsets out in Aylesbury, he says.
He is grateful for the support Aylesbury Creamery gets from locals in the district and believes supporting local is what keeps a community ticking.