Dairy women share journeys

Sarah Kelly, Alanah Moore and Chloe Brown talked about their journeys into dairy farming. Sarah farms alongside her father, Alanah works on two dairy farms, and Chloe married a dairy farmer.

Recognising dairy as a career for women was a big part of the theme of the Women in Dairy Gippsland gathering on Thursday, November 23.

More than 100 women attended the second annual Christmas lunch.

Sarah Kelly, Alanah Moore and Chloe Brown, as a panel of speakers, shared insights into their journeys into the dairy industry.

Sarah farms alongside her father on the family farm at Skye.

Alanah works as a milker and farm hand on two dairy farms in West Gippsland.

Chloe Brown married a dairy farmer who wanted to continue his family legacy, at Kirkstall.

Chloe and Rodney Brown milk 200 Jersey cows and are leasing a family farm on a vendor finance agreement.

“Rodney worked on his parents farms, then we became sharefarmers and now we’re leasing the farm,” she said.

“We’ve converted from a mixed herd of Jersey, Friesian and Holsteins to straight Jerseys.”

Chloe said when she began learning about farming, she didn’t know the difference between a heifer calf and a rising-two-year-old.

Dairy farmers Denna Tharle of Nambrok, Nicole Christensen of Glengarry West and Irene Baker of Lillico, also representing Australian Consolidated Milk.

Sarah Kelly works alongside her father on a family dairy farm, milking Holstein cows in a rotary dairy.

She became interested in genetics when herself and her father decided to breed their herd down to medium-sized cows.

“I’ve also brought in changes to our record keeping system,” she said.

“One of the best things about coming back to the farm is working with my Dad.”

Sarah’s ambition is to buy her own farm, and continue working alongside her father.

In the meantime, her three daughters are also learning how to be dairy farmers, growing up on the farm.

Alanah works in two teams on two different farms and enjoys the responsibility of working on her own.

“Working on my own is something I thrive on. I’ve always liked having responsibility,” she said.

“I thrive on juggling milking the cows with checking the paddocks are set up, and working on two different dairy farms, with two different dairy sheds and production systems.”

Shayne Hyman from West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Donna Gibson from Gardiner Foundation, a key supporter of the Women in Dairy event.

Donna Gibson, program manager for Research and Innovation at the Gardiner Foundation, thanked the panel of speakers. Gardiner Foundation was a key sponsor of the event.

Donna spoke about how the dairy industry thrives by supporting women across a range of career roles, from milking to research and executive roles.

“Dairy is not just a male domain, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the dairy industry,” she said.

“From dairy farmers to researchers, women have been making their mark in this industry, driving innovation and ensuring the sustainable future of dairy farming.

“The Gardiner Foundation understands that empowering women in agriculture is about more than gender equality, it also provides an economic advantage.

“Women’s participation in the dairy sector ensures its resilience and growth.”

Gardiner Foundation support extends to education, training and leadership development, including scholarships to support tertiary studies, and funding for people within the dairy industry to participate in the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Gippsland Community Leadership Program.

“Women play a vital role in diversifying and growing the dairy sector, which benefits the entire community,” Donna said.

“We’re here today to celebrate the incredible women in dairy — all of you — and honour your dedication to the industry.

“You inspire future generations of women to take up roles in the dairy sector.”

New group launched

The Christmas gathering was also the official launch of Women in Dairy Gippsland group, supported by GippsDairy.

Gippsland women in dairy are being asked to design the logo for the Women in Dairy Gippsland group.

The logo will be used as a key focus of merchandising and promoting the group.

Entries are open until February 29, and can be sent to Allison Potter of Bulla Dairy Foods, by email to Allison.potter@bulla.com.au

Dairy farmers Sandy Gray of Hill End, Marlene Orton of Tanjil South, Louise Paul of Hill End and Belinda Egan of Trafalgar.
Dairy farmers Bree Whittaker, Amy Brumby and Lisa Whittaker, all from Denison.
Julie Boulton, a dairy farmer at Seaspray, and Melissa Orgill, who works as a milker on a farm at Shady Creek.
Dairy farmers Ainsley Whiteside and Airlie Whiteside of Lang Lang and Jess Price of Leongatha.
Dairy farmers Megan Kirk and Lisa Monson, of Krowera, Kellie Walker of Outtrim, Jennifer Read of Woodleigh and Louise Sherar of Loch.
Dairy farmers Andrea Barlow from Yarram, Carol Morley from Gormandale and Claire Matthews from Nambrok.
Chloe Brown, from Kirkstall, with Lyn Johnson and Jude Conway from West Gippsland Women on Farms Group.
More than a hundred women attended the second Christmas gathering for women in dairy in Gippsland in late November, demonstrating the strength of the industry in the region.
Cindy Lucas from Daviesway and Dr Lauren Clyne, principal of Farm Vet Services and a dairy farmer at Denison.
Allison Potter from Bulla Dairy Foods, Jodi Loughridge, a dairy farmer at Poowong North, and Dr Alex Boileau of ProDairy.
Chloe Brown, from Kirkstall in south-west Victoria, was one of speakers at the Women in Dairy event. Chloe described her accidental entry to dairy farming by dating then marrying a dairy farmer.
Dairy farmer Jade Tout with her daughter, Matilda Tout, from Stacey’s Bridge.
Representing Rabobank were Zoe Rotthier and Hannah Sturgiss.
Dairy farmers Raelene Hanratty from Upper Maffra West, with Molly Sheridan and her mum, Sarah Kelly, from Skye.
Dairy farmers Carolyn Balfour and Lisa Wilms, from Willow Grove, Kellie Orgill from Yarragon, and Nikki Cadzow from Jindavick.
Jess Knight, a dairy farmer at Stratford, with Veronica McLeod from GippsDairy.
Dairy farmers Fran Langley from Labertouche and Rose Atherton from Drouin, with Bree Garland from Ridley Stockfeeds.
Kaylee Bransgrove, a dairy farmer from Neerim, with Jen Williams from Bega Group and Allison Potter from Bulla Dairy Foods, and Alanah Moore, a dairy farm worker on two farms in West Gippsland.
Lesleigh Write, MaxCare, with dairy farmer Leesa Williams from Athlone.
Dairy farmers Pia Osborne from Willow Grove and Lauren Brown of Jindavick.
Sisters and dairy farmers, Judy Baker and Clare Porter, both from Yarram. Judy has worked on and managed dairy farms in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria.
Dairy farmers Paula Miller from Woodside, Nadine Greenaway from Jack River, and Samantha Pedersen of Jindavick.
Dairy farmers Jenni Collins of Denison and Jane Nunn from Newry.