When Geoff Crawford started trapping for pests on his farm, he was catching 70 possums a week.
Now he's lucky if he gets seven.
While Geoff says he only started trapping 18 months ago, the self-proclaimed "townie's" journey into farming started a bit longer ago, at the ripe age of 17.
"I grew up in quite a poor area where we had four siblings. We were in a rural town and looked out over the farmland and I thought, well, 'that's what I want to be'," reminisces Geoff.
Out of school, Geoff started work on a dairy farm, before he got an opportunity to take over a contracting business spraying weeds.
As a result, that catapulted Geoff to be able to move into farm ownership at the age of 20.
And he has never looked back. Now Geoff owns seven properties.
Over 30 years he's built a farming business of three dairy farms totalling 505 effective hectares and 1400 cows plus two beef-rearing and finishing farms integrated with the dairying.
As he stands on a high point of the farm, just outside Whangārei, he can reflect on the transformation that has taken place over 30 years since he first purchased it.
"The farm was rundown to start with. That helped with the decision-making, but we were very poor.
"A lot of the original fencing was secondhand materials."
The commitment to the environment is evident in the farm's rejuvenation. New pastures, fencing, native planting, drainage systems, and even a wedding venue now grace the landscape.
The farm's transformation is not just about aesthetics - it's a testament to Geoff's philosophy of leaving the land better than he found it.
As Geoff checks the pest traps with Country Life, he drives around acres of mature bush hugging multiple waterways that snake through the farm.
"We never had a plan on measurement," he says.
"We just fenced it for what we thought was right for the paddocks. It's really come up nice."
However, Geoff's commitment to the environment extends beyond the boundaries of his farm.
A staunch advocate for conservation, he initiated the Pest-free Parakiore Program, bringing together 30 to 40 neighbours to trap possums and mustelids, paving the way for the reintroduction of kiwi.
"We've only started trapping probably 18 months now. So we're starting to see the rewards," Geoff shares, highlighting the success of the community-driven initiative.
For Geoff, farming is not just a livelihood; it's a commitment to future generations.
"If you've got generations of family coming through, you want to leave something that everyone's proud of," he says.