We know we are not perfect, we realise we must do better and we are proud of how far we have come.
Our cows live better lives than they did when I was a girl. Careful breeding has reduced the incidence of mastitis and lameness, while a new understanding of bovine nutrition has reduced the risk of calving trouble and helped us insulate the cows from the impact of both drought and flood. Our first generation of naturally polled (hornless) calves has just been born.
Even so, dairy farmers will one day earn a prime-time feature for all the wrong reasons. It could be someone doing the right thing that looks like the wrong thing: Continue reading
You’re about to meet Lisa Dwyer and Michael Spitse. In weeks, one of them will be among the most powerful dairy farmers in Australia, occupying a spot on the Dairy Australia board. Continue reading
Sprummer’s fading good looks
The season’s first stuttering “skeet, sekeet, sekeee” of a cicada this afternoon confirms it all: Sprummer has peaked.
This is the time of year that makes callow dryland dairy farmers like me uneasy. Continue reading
I am itching to watch an industry sustainability promo that stands apart courtesy of three missing words: “billion”, “economy” and “jobs”. Continue reading
I am not Farmer of the Year, just Ms Average Australian Dairy Farmer, with around 260 milkers doing a respectable 7000 litres each on 500 rain-fed acres. But the ground is shifting beneath my feet. Although family farms make up 98% of Australian dairy right now, the big corporates are moving in and moving people like me on. Continue reading
Filed under Community, Farm
Living with the Enemy: Steve the hunter vs Felicity the animal liberationist
Felicity is one of the reasons few farmers write blogs. On the whole, we’re terrified of Animal Liberation activists and tonight’s episode of Living with the Enemy was an excruciating reminder of some of the rare but outlandish comments I’ve refused to post on Milk Maid Marian. Continue reading
DEPI’s “Mr Silage”, Frank Mickan
Chomping on a rye grass stalk with rain trickling down his face, Mr Silage gave it a nod of approval: “Still tastes sweet!”.
Mr Silage, as DEPI’s Frank Mickan is colloquially known, is a living legend. Continue reading
Filed under Farm, Research