Springton SA suppliers Kym and Sandy Rathjen hosted a Dairy SA Calf Health day in late February.
Well attended by 40 farmers from across the Barossa and Mid North, presenters Cindy Lucas and Dario Mendoza brought attendees up to date with the latest in low-stress calf rearing and disbudding techniques in the comfort of the Rathjen’s new shearing shed.
SA Director Sandy Rathjen then spoke on how their operation goes about rearing the healthiest possible calves that develop into well-grown replacements for their 220 strong registered Holstein herd.
Attendees then enjoyed a delicious barbecue and of course some Farmers Union Iced Coffee provided by DFMC.
https://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.png00Curriehttps://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.pngCurrie2021-05-17 15:05:352021-05-18 10:35:12SA industry meeting
In 2020, restrictions on meetings and functions, including the Annual General Meeting and year-end functions in each region, meant that we were not able to present our Quality Awards as we have in the past.
Instead, we have put together a presentation of the awards by region, and of course the national award. Click here to see the winners. Congratulations to all!
It is also important to acknowledge, as we do every year, those who supplied consistently high-quality milk. Certificates have been mailed to members who supplied Exceptional Quality milk, receiving zero demerit points for the full 12 months to 30 June 2020. Those who supplied Superior Quality milk with under 5 demerit points for the year also receive a certificate.
Exceptional Milk Quality 2020 FNQ – P & VA English FNQ – KF & SC Collins FNQ – J & S Geraghty FNQ – JR & DR Daley Pty Ltd FNQ – Laceview Pty Ltd FNQ – R JD & BRG Kelso FNQ – RR & SG Daley FNQ – MB Daley Pty Ltd FNQ – S E Doull & L Pearson FNQ – McGregor Farming SEQ – RL & SL Skyring SEQ – DA & CG Vonhoff SEQ – Gerber Farms Pty Ltd SEQ – Crouch Farming NSW – MacArthur Stanham Holdings P/L NSW -Michael John Cole NSW – Hurlstone Agricultural College NSW – GA & CA Chittick NSW – Jim Strong NSW – GF & RF Herne & TL Russell NSW – Glencoe Estates NSW – Miss ES Bowman NSW – CW & N Windsor SA – Manna Farm Holsteins SA – IA & LC Gazzola SA – Jared & Megan King SA – JH & CM Zerk SA – DJ & KB Leuenberger VIC – JH & BA Dealy VIC – JJ & BL Evans VIC – MG & CA Hay & Son VIC – DH & CJ Riley VIC – RJ Perkins & SF Evans VIC – AJ & JM Wilson VIC – JC & NT Smith VIC – Wild Dog Creek Pastoral Co. VIC – The Barton Family
Superior Milk Quality 2020 FNQ – CUDA AG NSW – Honey Park Pastoral Co NSW – Beaulands Pty Ltd NSW – Shierlaw Dairy Pty Ltd NSW – WG & AJ Sherborne NSW – BJ Watts & Sons Pty Ltd SA – RG BI & KM Bond SA – J & CL Lovelock SA – AG & DJ Dalitz SA – The Bartlett Family Trust SEQ – ME IW & WD Pukallus SEQ – RL Brasington and LE Brasington SEQ – ME & J Lanham SEQ – GR & JM Fitch SEQ – MJ & GJ Henry SEQ – GL & LM Edwards SEQ – MC & JM MacDonald SEQ – Blackwood Family Farms SEQ – Brown Valley Farming SEQ – MJ & AA Wilson SEQ – AC DM PJ CR TE & TJ Beattie VIC – JP & ER Pethybridge VIC – CA & ML Godden VIC – GK & JM Ault VIC – E M Brown & S F Fisicaro VIC – AL & BR Younger
https://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.png00Curriehttps://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.pngCurrie2021-01-29 16:46:472021-02-01 11:26:352020 Milk quality award winners
We called for nominations for co-operative directors in South Australia (region 4) and Victoria (region 5) earlier in the year. At the AGM on November 17 chairman Andrew Burnett was pleased to announce that with one candidate nominating in each region Greg Ault was elected in Victoria and that Sandy Rathjen was elected in South Australia.
Sandy and husband Kym, who is a third-generation farmer at “Glenjoy Friesian Stud” based in Springton, South Australia. Currently “Glenjoy” milks 180 Holstein Friesian cows and produces 1.84 million litres annually as well as farming 100 beef cattle & 1000 sheep.
Sandy has always had a passion for animals and through her employment history has attained extensive business management skills which are now utilised to manage the farm which has grown from 400 acres to 2500 acres over the past 35 years.
Greg has been dairy farming for 35 years in a family partnership with his wife Joanne and support from their four children. They are currently milking 500 cows with sharefarmers Andrew and Cassandra Kath on a 350ha irrigated farm at Rochester in Northern Victoria. As a supporter of the co-operative model the Aults have supplied DFMC for 10 years and Greg served on the Ward Representative Advisory Committee (WRAC) for 3 years.
Greg has shown real enthusiasm to get involved beyond the farmgate being an active member of UDV/VFF over the last 30 years holding several executive positions. He also served as a director of Murray Dairy for 5 years. He is currently a director of an irrigation co-operative and committee member of Campaspe Water Incorporated.
https://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.png00Markhttps://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.pngMark2020-11-26 14:00:222020-11-26 14:03:19New Southern Directors Announced
Northern Victorian suppliers Bernice and Scott Lumsden are taking no chances with COVID-19 on their busy 600-cow farm at Leitchville.
“Autumn is perhaps now our busiest time of year and we really couldn’t afford to have anyone of our team contract the virus,” said Bernice.
The Lumsdens were quick to react, enforcing measures to protect their workers and maintain food safety standards.
“We practised social distancing pretty much from the get-go and have kept adopting the recommended practices as they are announced, Bernice said. “Having a rotary dairy means that milkers are not in contact during milking, which reduces food safety risks.”
“We regularly check if anyone is showing cold or flu symptoms.”
To prevent possible contamination the Lumsdens have conducted weekly staff meetings outside of the staffroom and implemented most of the COVID-19 protocols suggested on the Dairy Australia website.
“We’ve set up hand sanitizing points using our own mix of methylated spirits and glycerine, with glove stations in the vat room,” Bernice said.
“We also sanitize the outlets on the vat and door handles each day.”
A staff member who has watched the Dairy Australia webinar and studied the recommended protocols online has been assigned to ensuring that the correct practices are followed.
“Everyone is aware of the tanker times and we give the vat room a wide berth generally while the milk is collected,” said Bernice.
“Scott and one of our workers share a tractor to do our feed mixers so it has to be disinfected between users as well.”
Employees are also encouraged to carry a copy of their pay slip with them in the event they have to prove they are part of an essential service when travelling to or between farm properties.
Like a lot of northern Victorian suppliers, the Lumsdens are not only busy with regular farm duties but also operating at full speed getting pastures and crops in the ground for the season ahead.
“We’ve got most of our inputs organised which is good, but our biggest concern is losing any labour to the virus at this time of the year, be it ourselves or an employee.”
Numurkah supplier Jim Dealy has welcomed the changes to the DFMC loans eligibility, which now give members the opportunity to borrow funds for everyday business proposals, rather than just adverse circumstances.
Jim and his wife Barbara, along with sons Ryan and Greg, will milk nearly 1200 cows on their 3500 acres at Numurkah this season.
The Dealys have used DFMC loans over the last two years to strategically purchase both hay and temporary water.
“We purchased 500 megs of water in March 2019 that set our pastures up well,” Jim said. “When the rain kick started in May we were well advanced.”
“Then in spring when water was too expensive, we locked in our hay supplies to see us through the summer.”
Jim says the DMFC loans were essential in planning for the future.
“Both times we were able to use the DFMC loans to lock in a price to make sure we had what we needed squared away.
“It’s put us in a pretty good position this year and now we hope to benefit from the high milk prices for the rest of the season.”
Like many farmers, the Dealys have become frustrated at how long banks can take to gather information and assess a loan proposal.
“Farmers know a good deal when they see it – we’ve got numbers running around in our head all the time,“ Jim said.
“So when an opportunity presents to lock in an input at the right price, it’s good to know we can make an application and get funds quickly.
“It feels like we’re putting a case to people who actually understand what we’re talking about.”
Always a glass half-full sort of farmer, Jim is confident that the dairy industry can ride out the coronavirus crisis in reasonable shape.
“Farmers are pretty fortunate in that we can go about our business pretty much as usual and there is still demand for what we are producing – and we still get paid for it!”
While Jim acknowledges the potential for prices to retract in the coming year, he is still optimistic about dairying in the Goulburn Valley.
“An average season and a bit more allocation would see us through,” he reckons. “But if we could get to $6.50, it would still be pretty handy.”
https://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Jim-Greg-Dealy-scaled-e1588659866135.jpg4991203adminhttps://dfmc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/DFMC_Logo.pngadmin2020-05-05 12:10:222020-05-07 11:37:45DFMC loans help farmers plan for future
The DFMC Board has recently decided to broaden DFMC’s Farm Loan scheme to include a new category for business productivity. Previously, the scheme only made loans available to farmers facing extreme climatic conditions – like a drought or a disaster such as a flood.
The new loan category has been named the Business Productivity Support loan and is to ensure farmers can take advantage of business opportunities to maximise the farm productivity by, for example, forward contracting or meeting payment terms for feed purchases. Typical loan approval turnaround times are very quick, and funds are made available to suppliers promptly.
Unlike the Climatic Conditions loans which have declared qualifying factors, the Business Productivity Support loans require suppliers to complete a Dairy Australia Cash Flow to demonstrate considered business decision making.
DFMC Regional Managers will assist with the completion of the Cash Flow and will ensure confidentiality. The Board will be advised that it has been completed to the RM’s satisfaction.
For Business Productivity Support loans, the maximum loan amount is either 50% of a member’s share capital in the Co-operative, or 50% of the average net monthly milk payment based on the previous twelve months (whichever is higher).
Director Bernice Lumsden was particularly keen to see the new loan category implemented. After previous seasons where feed costs have leapt up and traditional sources of hay or grain have been unreliable, being able to lock in volumes and prices is crucial in farm planning and management.