End of an era for Campbells

By Sophie Baldwin

It was the end of 43 years of milking for Rochester’s Trevor and Julie Campbell when 27 spring calving heifers went under the hammer at Echuca Selling Centre last week.

The heifers averaged $1925 and the couple was happy with the sale, considering current industry conditions.

‘‘We are relieved considering where the industry is sitting,’’ Mr Campbell said.

‘‘We had no great expectations for the day, but when the opportunity came to sell our herd we thought, due to our age, we should take it.’’

The top-selling lot was Jimann Valentino Maisy — a two-year old daughter of an EX 90 Mannix Rebel dam with records to 323kg fat. She sold for $3600.

From the same sire, Jimann Valentino Stari — from an EX 90 Impuls Legal dam — was purchased by Brookbora of Tennyson for $3200.

The Jimann herd is well known within the Jersey community and selling the herd was a tough decision for the couple.

Mr Campbell has been breeding his own stock since he was 15 and he can remember the first moment he fell in love with cows.

‘‘I was about four or five and I was looking out the bedroom window and a Jersey cow dropped this tiny little calf with a star on its head and from that minute on, cows became my life,’’ Mr Campbell said.

‘‘At that stage it didn’t matter what colour they were either, I just loved cows — it is something that has been in me as long as I can remember.’’

Mr Campbell has always enjoyed the challenge of breeding the next generation of stock and he loved the camaraderie and interaction with other Jersey breeders.

He is a classifier and a life member of Jersey Australia.

The Campbells are also the last of the original Rural Finance and Land Settlement Commission dairy farmers (Rural Finance blocks) to exit the industry.

They purchased their 42ha dairy farm through the help of the scheme in 1976.

‘‘We were sharefarming at the time and had our own dairy herd,’’ Mrs Campbell said.

‘‘We had to go through an extensive application and interview process to be accepted.’’

At purchase their farm consisted of three water troughs, three main paddocks, a shell of a house and dairy, a machinery and hay shed — they basically had to fit out the dairy and house and away they went.