Local dairy experience

This month we were lucky enough to get hands on experience at a local dairy and participate in the afternoon milking.

Rod and Jo have been passionate dairy farmers in our area for many years. Having recently sold their farm and not quite ready to fully retire, they have plans to do some relief milking around Australia while they travel.

Now we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity for a hands on experience, so we planned an afternoon excursion before the new owners took over. We set out and arrived around 3pm at Rod and Jo house, stopping to enjoy a cuppa while watching the cows start wandering in from the paddock before we headed over to the dairy.

The cows settle themselves into the yard and organise themselves. Being a herd animal, there is always a pecking order, so each day the cows line up in the same order to get milked. A lot of the cows have names and distinctive personalities. Once in order, they walk themselves on to the circular rotation system where they enjoy a meal of grains and hay, while we got to work cupping the udders. It was down to business for us!

The milking usually takes around 1.5 hours with just Rod and Jo running the system, however, with us newbies it took a little longer!

The collected milk is sent directly into a large vat, where it is cooled and turned to prevent the cream from separating. The milk is then ready to be partursied and bottled.

Jo has done both our Soft Cheesemaking Workshop and our Advanced Cheesemaking Workshop, she has since been whipping up some delicious cheeses (I got to try her triple cream which was delicious!) using her own milk and cream.

Thanks for letting us play farmer for the day Rod and Jo! We loved it.