FOR SECOND-GENERATION Wyuna dairy farmer Jack Young, maintaining great milk quality isn’t just rewarding — it’s a family tradition.
Jack’s parents, Julie and Stuart, started farming in the Murray region 25 years ago. Julie instilled in Jack and his brother Alec a passion for milk quality that they still embrace today.
With two generations of knowhow when it comes to milk quality, it’s no surprise the Young family farm is one of the winners of the 2018 Australian Milk Quality Awards.
The awards recognise farms which have achieved the best milk quality based on annual average bulk milk cell count across Australia’s milk processing companies.
Jack employs two full-time staff members — a milker and a 19-year-old farm hand who is keen to learn more about dairy farming.
In Jack’s eyes, a big part of learning how to manage milk quality is taking Dairy Australia’s Cups On Cups Off and Countdown courses to learn the industry’s best practice to achieve outstanding milk quality on-farm.
“I’ll be encouraging both my staff to do Cups On Cups Off courses. Staff are key to any farm operation and we’ve got to make sure they’re across what’s in these courses,” Jack said.
But with the winter months bringing cold and wet conditions, Jack knows it will be as important as ever to pay extra attention to his cows to maintain his milk quality. He’s encouraging others to do the same.
“My biggest tip is to pay attention to dry-off procedures. If you’re not doing your dry-off right, you’re setting your cow up for failure before she’s even lactating,” he said.
“It’s just so important to maintain hygiene. That’s the key message, right through your whole dry-off procedure and your whole milking routine.
“Make sure you wash your machinery and clean your cows’ teats. It’s about looking after your cows and making sure your hygiene is up to scratch.”
High milk quality has always been a big part of what has made the Youngs’ farm successful for a quarter of a century and counting.
“I was brought up on the farm. I’ve loved it ever since I was a little kid. I love it all,” Jack said.
“Mum has always been a big driver of keeping low cell counts and maintaining our milk quality. We’ve continued that and we are continuing to keep up our processes today.”
Cups on Cups Off courses are two-day training workshops delivered by Dairy Australia’s Regional Development Programs and trained experts in mastitis and milk quality. They help dairy farmers achieve best practice in milk harvesting, with emphasis on the detection, treatment and prevention of clinical mastitis.
To register for the next round of Cups On Cups Off courses, contact Murray Dairy.