Michael began his farming career in 1959 after gaining School Certificate and University Entrance; then moving through the traditional stages of farm worker, share-milker, farm ownership.
Moving to a farm with many new and challenging problems of production and animal health in the mid 60's, Michael looked for ways to improve pasture production and reduce the high animal wastage from mastitis, foot-rot and infertility.
This resulted in an interest in what was then called "biological husbandry". In 1976 the N.Z. Farmer documented in a lead article, the progress being made on the farm, towards what we would now call "sustainable farming".
In 1980 Michael became a foundation client of Nutri-Link Ltd. with Tony Donnelly as adviser. Tony and Michael had been instrumental in establishing a vigorous Waikato branch of the N.Z. Soil Association in the late 70's and early 80's. Believing that farming had to be profitable to be sustainable, Michael spent some years involved with Federated Farmers; and as Waikato representative, was a member of the N.Z executive of Dairy Section.
In 1984 Michael joined the Nutri-Link team and today enjoys working with a number of second generation farmers on those original farms. In 1990 Michael and Barbara sold their Ngahinapouri farm and moved to the bush line of Mt. Pirongia 35 ks south west of Hamilton with a small amount of grazing, establishing a garden of rhododendrons and camellias amongst native plants and native bird-feeding trees.
In December 2013 they moved to Raglan, with a low maintenance house and garden; with beach walks for exercising the metal joints during the “off season”.
Michael has written, and had many articles written about his farming and environmental approach. He has been involved throughout N.Z. in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as speaker and judge.
The advent of the need for improved nutrient management and documentation has meant that Michael was sponsored by Nutri-Link to complete the Massey University Certificate of Sustainable Nutrient Management in N.Z. Agriculture in 2005.
Other than the garden, Michael and Barbara are active in their local church, choir singing and maintaining contact with their family of four adult children and five grandchildren.