Founder Gerard Richards can speak from experience when he says "sometimes farmers find it hard getting away from the farm."
He vividly remembers a stinking hot day in the sheep yards, back in December 2016, when he was working with the dogs to push sheep up the race for drafting, that the idea of an automated dog feeder, known today as DuraFeed, first came to mind.
"I remember asking the Station Manager if he had much on during the weekend, as I wondered about heading over to the coast for a fish for the night, with the hope he'd feed my dogs for me. The manager mentioned he had a bit on with family, so that made my decision for me - I wasn't going to go fishing. Instead I just kept myself busy on the property for the weekend."
This became a problem solving experience for Gerard, as he came to realise farmers dogs can often be the only things keeping farmers & their families from getting valuable time off the farm - even if it’s just for an afternoon or a quick night away.
DuraFeed - Feeding Freedom was born.
Farmers dogs never make excuses, they hardly ever call in sick, are relatively cheap to run and usually need to be told to slow down rather than being told to get stuck in (like us humans do!)
For Farmers who use dogs onfarm, their dogs are a valuable asset. Many New Zealand farms actually couldn't operate without working dogs. They allow farmers to run larger scale farming operations, which in turn makes the whole operation worthwhile. The time and money farmers save by having working dogs is huge.
So they need to be well looked after and DuraFeed's got your feeding covered.
Our vision is to create 'feeding freedom' for both farmer and dog.
We produce reliable animal feeders that get the job done, for different situations and for a range of different animals.
IMPROVED HEALTH THROUGH FLEXIBILITY
For the Farmer
The feeder is not necessarily an everyday solution.
However, using the feeder from time to time brings flexibility and balance into a Farmers life. Farmers wellbeing is a big driver for DuraFeed's creation and success. If we can contribute in a small way to improving the general mental health and wellbeing of farmers then we consider DuraFeed a success.
For the Dog
Through the eyes of our valued four-legged mate, they get regular and reliable feeds no matter what's going on on the farm or elsewhere. This ensures the dogs health remains in top shape and one of your biggest assets can continue to perform at its best for you from the depths of winter to the height of summer.
All of these reasons can apply to people from all walks of life - not just farmers!
Meet the team behind our feeder.
A Manawatu born and bred farmer, Gerard, along with partner Clare and their young daughters, are currently leasing a hill country block in Northern Horowhenua, where they're farming sheep and beef.
He's always had an interest in working with animals, as they always find a way of keeping him on his toes and teaching him something new from season to season. Gerard's connection to the land runs deep, having had previous roles on New Zealand's sheep beef and dairy farms and on cattle stations in Australia, but his heart was firmly at home, eventually coming back to NZ to get his feet back on solid ground with a team of dogs.