Awarding dairy excellence

Congratulations to all recipients of our 2018/19 milk quality awards.

Only farms with fewer than five demerit points are recognised with these awards, and this year DFMC is proud that farms that received the awards represented about two-thirds of our total milk pool.

National and SA Quality Award winners Ian and Nikki Willcocks with Regional Manager Dom Baxter.

The national winner was announced at the AGM in Kiama, NSW. The top award went to Manna Farms Holsteins from Yankalilla, South Australia. Ian and Nikki are no strangers to quality awards, having taken out the South Australia award two years ago. They say key to milk quality is doing the little things well and making sure cows are well fed.

The runner-up was MacArthur Stanham Holdings from Camden, NSW, who after missing out on featuring in the awards last year was determined to rise back up the ranks.

Interestingly both operations are located in urban fringe areas, with Manna Farms actually accessible via a street address, while the westward spread of Sydney and having suburban neighbours is something Adam and his team at MacArthur Stanham have to consider on a day-to-day basis.

In Far North Queensland, our regional awards were presented in conjunction with the Sub Tropical Dairy Dinner and attended by 80 local farmers and service providers. Our regional award was presented to Kevin & Sharron Collins and accepted by San Collins.

Other Far North Queensland winners were James & Sari Geraghty, Jane & Malcolm McGregor, the Kelso Family, Wayne & Kellie Dobe, Bob & Susie Daley, Col & Shelley Daley, Peter Veronica & Dennis English, David & Tonia Daley, Gavan Doull, JR & DR Daley Pty Ltd.

In South East Queensland, DFMC presented the certificates and awards at our end of year functions. In this region, approximately half of the total milk supply achieved at least Superior milk quality standards which is an exceptional result given such trying conditions over the past 12 to 24 months. This year’s South East Queensland winner was RL & SL Skyring and the runner-up was DA & CG Vonhoff. Our other milk quality certificate winners were: MJ & GJ Henry, OConnell Brothers, KJ Smith, Inverclyde Holdings, RL & LEM Brasington, PJ & SA Maher, Crouch Farming, Blackwood Family, Gerber Farms, Brown Family, Pukallus Family, MC & JM MacDonald.

Moving further south to NSW, our awards were presented at the recent AGM and end of year functions. Most regions of the state have experienced their driest 12-month period on record, and it is a testament to the many farms who continuously provide top quality milk, year in, year out. This year’s regional winner was the team from MacArthur Stanham Pty Ltd. Farm manager Adam Findlater accepted the NSW trophy and certificate. The NSW runner-up was the Graham Family of Beaulands Pty Ltd from Nowra. Other deserved  NSW certificate receivers were Jim Strong, WG & AJ Sherborne, WM Landers, Honey Park Pastoral Co, AN & LM Alley, LR Anderson & Sons, Michael Cole, The Finch Family, Craig Windsor, Bill & Sandra Wiliams, The Hayes Family, Con Watts, Bowman Family, Hurlstone Ag College, PB & SJ Chittick, The Herne & Russell Families, and Glencoe Estates – Marg, Peter & Steve Raisen.

In South Australia, the regional quality award winner was Ian and Nikki Willcocks from the renowned Manna Farm Holsteins of Yankalilla. The runner-up came from just up the road at Myponga – Jared and Megan King. Again, South Australia had experienced a tough year that culminated in a reasonable, but quick, spring and the focus on quality from the region’s suppliers throughout the season was admirable. Quality certificates were awarded to The Barlett Family Trust, A & D Dalitz, James & Chris Zerk, RG BI & KM Bond, IA & LC Gazzola, and Blinkbonnie Pty Ltd.

A dinner in Echuca for Victoria’s Northwestern suppliers was a most enjoyable evening. Director Bernice Lumsden accepted the runner-up award on behalf of her family’s operation JC & NT Smith. It’s been a tough year in the irrigation areas with low water allocation and a second year of well below average rainfall during the growing season. But as in other regions, the commitment of DFMC suppliers to maintaining quality shines through. Quality certificates went to IB, CA & RJ Simpson, DH & CJ Riley, GK & JM Ault, EM Brown & SF Fisicaro, MG & CA Hay & Son, CP & JM Jones –Timbercreek Holsteins, JH & BA Dealy, AJ & JM Wilson, AL & BR Younger and SC & VJ Winchester.

The North East Victorian function was held at the Beechworth, where a great night was had.

Ray Perkins and Shirleen Evans were announced as the Victorian Regional winners. Ray and Shirleen also had the distinction of being among Dairy Australia’s Top 100 suppliers in Australia, based on BMCC, . Quality certificates on the night were presented to Wild Dog Creek Pastoral Company, JP & ER Pethybridge and JJ & BL Evans.

FNQ director James Geraghty, Regional Manager Tony Burnett and Regional Quality award winner Sean Collins.

A Runner Up Jared King with local director Adrian Dauk.

ictorian Runners Up Bernice and Scott Lumsden with Regional Manager Dom Baxter.


New AGM format a hit

The DFMC Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in Kiama, NSW on November 19th. This year we kicked off the day with an open forum in the morning, followed by the formalities of the AGM, and then a lunch during the presentation of the NSW South Coast quality awards.

We were privileged to hear from two highly credentialed and topical speakers during our open forum, with the head of the NSW Farmers Dairy Committee, Colin Thompson, and the recently appointed NSW Dairy Advocate, Ian Zandstra, giving us plenty to think about. Given current discussion around the Australian Dairy Plan, both were able to provide wonderful and interesting insights of their respective roles.

Chairman Andrew Burnett then led a Q & A session for members on co-operative matters. Andrew opened the AGM, presenting his Chairman’s report, highlighting the responses to the drought including Lion’s True-Blue drought fund and the Dairy Pride payment.  He also reaffirmed the importance of the 3-year extension of the Milk Supply Agreement and the key points – dispute resolution, the revised aggregation fee of $300k and that the MSA is no longer exclusive.

This was followed by an operations report from Executive Officer Mark Kebbell, highlighting the drop in milk production in all regions. Finally, a finance report from Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, John McKillop highlighted that the co-operative’s operating profit (after income tax and before dividend) was $676k for 2019.  The equity portfolio continued to grow – at a little over 10% again for the financial year to $13.4m

As advised in the days leading up to the AGM, the co-operative’s Annual Report can be found on the DFMC website at