Dairy cows graze on the river flats of the Mātakitaki River valley near Murchison. The first dairy factory in the area opened at Murchison in 1909, and its butter brand was ‘Airship’. Butter was taken by wagon to the railhead at Kōhatu. It was a long haul, and to ensure that the cargo was in good condition the wagon travelled mostly by night. For many farmers in the area, dairying was the main source of regular income until wool prices rose in the 1950s. In 2010 most of the better pastureland in the valleys around Murchison grazed dairy cows.
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Photograph by Jock Phillips
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