Springvale farm was bought by the Berning Family in 1974 on their return from Kenya. From 1953 until then, the property was a successful horse stud and dairy farm owned by Harry Barnett.
Prior to this the farm was owned by the Groom family. Chris Groom built the main house in 1888. The stone buildings were built prior to this date. Summer house was built in 1900. The red cottage is an original tin cottage that has been there since the time dot.
They were primarily cattle, sheep and apple farmers. Chris Groom passed the farm on to his son Cuthbert and then to the next generation Cyril Groom. In 1953 they sold it to Harry Barnett and immigrated to New Zealand.
Electricity was laid in 1942. Computers were used for the first time in the farming operation in 1983. From 1974 the property changed from a horse operation to a beef production operation. In the late 1980 when the profitability of beef diminished, vegetable production was started and the family began investigating the viability of a dairy enterprise.
In 1993 the dairy started. First a 12 unit swing-over, then a 30 unit swing-over and then in 2007 the 60 rotary, state of the art parlour was built.
John Berning used Springvale as a beef farm and James turned it into a dairy farm in 1995.
We have a cross bred milking herd of 850 cows. We provide permanent employment to about 25 people. The breeding animals are on Springvale and the young heifers are based at Inkwazi Farm, next to Michael House School. We raise the babies here at Springvale and once they are weaned we send them to Inkwazi. They only return to Springvale once they are about to calve down at the age of two years. We milk our cows on a 60 bay rotary and our milk goes to Douglas Dale.
Read more about the Bill Barnes Crane and Oribi Nature Reserve