SO IT has been another busy and exciting year on the dairy front and who would have thought it would end in us saying goodbye to the last big Australian — Murray Goulburn. Whether you look at it as progress or not, either way it is quite a sad time for the industry. It has been a long-held belief that the industry needs an Australian-owned processor to set the price and basically keep the industry honest. The last few years, and especially 2017, have turned that theory on its ear. Will it be a good thing?
Well I guess only time will tell the answer to that question, but it really is hard to believe how quickly it has all soured. At least now suppliers have a direction to move toward and an increased milk price will always be welcome and yes, there is still the opportunity to vote with your milk supply and swap processors. I have also been excited by the development of organics in the dairy industry and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I think it opens up some fantastic opportunities for those willing to have a go.
Some people may disagree but ‘green food’ is certainly the way of the future and more and more consumers are demanding a clean, chemical-free product. And I guess that’s part of the beauty of this industry, it’s up to you how you run your business and what sort of milk you supply whether it be organic, A2, traditional, Jersey, Friesian, Aussie Red, Brown Swiss or a combination of breeds.
It has been more than two years since I milked my last cow and I still miss them every day, especially on those beautiful spring days when they are grazing on a paddock of lush green grass. I have had numerous invitations back into the dairy but I have definitely found my way out of the early morning habit — these days I don’t like to get up at any time which has a ‘5’ in it, unless of course it’s for an event.
I completed my first Olympic-distance triathlon for the 2017–18 season in Shepparton recently and, while it was far from my best race, it was still worth the 4.30 am alarm. As I lumbered my way through the swim, bike and run course I thought to myself how lucky I am to be participating in such a great sport. Triathlon is a bit like milking cows — you just never know what is going to happen on any given day, but you keep going back to it because you love it. It only seemed like yesterday that I wished all my farming friends a merry Christmas and happy new year and yes, I am about to do it again.
This year, like the one before it, has flown by and similar to last year it has been another eventful year in the industry. Christmas is always a great time to stop and reflect on the many great things you have in your life and for me, that is always my beautiful family and friends. I may not have everything in the world — but I certainly have enough. Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year — forget the wealth and just enjoy your health.