Australia Day gong for Ringarooma’s Legendairy couple

By Rick Bayne

The driving forces behind Ringarooma’s success as Australia’s 2017 Legendairy Capital, dairy farmers Marcus and Simone Haywood, have been rewarded with an Australia Day volunteer honour.

Marcus and Simone were named Dorset Council’s Volunteers of the Year for their efforts in spearheading Ringarooma’s successful nomination for the Legendairy Capital program.

Mr Haywood said the award was unexpected but another welcome recognition for the local community. “We were both over the moon about it; humbled and grateful at the same time,” he said.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it so we thought why not have a dip?” he said. “As it turns out we took out the national title, so it worked out pretty well for us.”

The Heywoods said the town had embraced the Legendairy Capital title.

“At the awards, our Mayor Greg Howard welcomed everyone to the Legendairy Capital of Australia, which was pretty cool.”

Mr Haywood was also named DairyTas Young Dairy Farmer of the Year in early 2017 but says the town’s Legendairy Award is the pinnacle.

“The best award is being the national Legendairy Capital because it involved the whole community,” he said. “Just seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces when we won was awesome.”

As Legendairy Capital of Tasmania, Ringarooma received a $2500 community grant to renew recreational areas at Ringarooma Primary School.

After being named Australia’s 2017 Legendairy Capital, the town secured an additional $7500 to help restore the school’s historic dairy to connect students with the area’s local dairy history.

Marcus said it was hoped to turn the former dairy into a calf rearing area to give children from non-dairy backgrounds a chance to learn about the industry.

“Each year there is a calf rearing contest at the local show but kids not from a dairying background don’t get the opportunity because they don’t have their own calves,” he said. “This will give them the chance to rear and enter a calf under their own name.”

Dairy Australia Managing Director Ian Halliday said Marcus and Simone should be commended for their wonderful contribution to the town and Legendairy Capital program.

“Marcus and Simone were instrumental in coordinating the community and submitted a comprehensive submission which provided insights into how Ringarooma fostered community spirit and connectedness through adverse times.”