Both from rural backgrounds, founding donors Helen and Harry Bayliss met at Massey University where they both studied Agricultural Science. Armed with degrees, determination and no fear of hard work, they managed to buy their first farm in Taranaki, Harry’s home province, after just five years of sharemilking in the region.
More bare land, than farm, Harry and Helen not only had to build a cowshed and shift an old home on to the property for them and their young family, but also nurture the land back into grass production.
In addition to farm work and raising a family, Helen added teaching to her skillset and spent a number of years sharing her knowledge and agricultural experience both as a secondary teacher and around Taranaki as an Agri-business Tutor. Meanwhile alongside his farming responsibilities, Harry was elected to the Kiwi Cooperative Company Board in 1988 and with the advent of Fonterra, he became a foundation Director serving until his retirement in 2006. He has also served on the board of the TSB Community Trust.
Years of hard work has resulted in the Bayliss’s owning two prosperous dairy farms in Otakeho in South Taranaki, one of which is now managed by excellent sharemilkers, and the other has been sold to a previous sharemilker.
The Bayliss’s have always been actively involved in their local community giving their time, energy and expertise and have now chosen to invest in the future of Taranaki.
“From the moment we heard about Te Karaka Foundation we knew it was something we wanted to support.”
“We’ve done well living in a strong community and we’re now in a position to give back to that community to allow things to be done in the future for others,” they say.