Recognition as Holstein Australia Master Breeders has been the perfect end to Athol and Birute Hyland’s time in the dairy industry.
The Hylands, who ran Amelia Park Holsteins at Stanhope for 17 years, recently began to sell off their herd and have retired to Kelvin View.
“It was just touching and very enjoyable to be able to win that just before we got out,” Mr Hyland said.
When working on their 70 ha farm, the Hylands were milking 140 cows themselves and conceded they were simply “worn out” and were now looking forward to enjoying life and travelling, without worrying about the farm each day.
The past 17 years have seen the couple face a number of challenges, with the millennium drought, the Global Financial Crisis and the milk price crisis all hitting the industry hard.
“(During the drought) we really didn’t find it hard, there was a lot of help out there and if you were sensible it wasn’t hard,” Mrs Hyland said.
“But after the drought, and after all the help stopped, it was hard.”
“Especially the first 12 months after the end of the drought, because the price went down, that’s when it was hard,” Mr Hyland said.
“I’d take a guess that about 40 per cent of people milking cows, they’re only milking them because they can’t get out.”
Having already hosted a number of sales, the Hylands will completely sell off their herd by autumn 2019, when their remaining 100 heifers will find a new home.
They have been pleasantly surprised with the sale results.
“The first sale was really good, there was only 13 sold but they sold very well,” Mr Hyland said.
“They were all registered and we had some good cattle. We made $10 000 for one heifer, which was just great,” Mrs Hyland said.
With another two to three sales remaining, the Hylands said they were adjusting to their change of scenery and were looking forward to what the future holds outside of the dairy industry.