Cowra’s alluvial flats make it great farming land in anyone's book, even marking one Cowra farm as an exemplar of the dairy industry.
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Colin and Erina Thompson of “Silvermere Holsteins” opened their property to fellow dairy producers as part of Dairy NSW's Growing the Future Project 20:20 Pathways to Change this week.
The Thompson’s farm is one of five farms from across NSW that were recognised as exemplars of the dairy industry by their peers.
The other farms are located in Kyogle, Stewarts River, Burrawang and Finley.
The Thompson’s dairy, which milks 310 cows three times a day with an annual production of 4.2 million liters, said the project let them give a little back to the industry.
“Dairy farming is different to a lot of industries we do share our information a lot between farms, not so much to the general public, but between farms,” Colin Thompson said.
“We’ve learnt a lot by looking at other farms both in Australia and overseas and we thought this was one way of repaying the industry by letting people come and view what we do.”
Project Officer, Jess Micallef said the project was about giving farmers information and access to resources to make informed decisions.
“It’s that idea of they’ve tried it, they’ve succeeded, I’ll give it a go now,’ she said.
“It’s getting farmers to take on new ideas and new initiatives on their farm.
“A couple of the younger farmers were having a chat about their effluent systems and swapping ideas and that’s what these events are about.
“The five farms are all in different geological locations and they are all farming in different ways, that means that every farmer in the industry should be able to relate to different aspects of the farms.
“Colin and Erina, their TMR Free Stall barns are very different to our pasture based farmers and really farmers love having a look at other people’s farms and seeing what’s successful and trying to implement it back home.
“We sent out a text message to every single dairy farmer in the region that was included in this project saying nominate farmers you think are exemplars of the industry.
“We got 50 nominations and we narrowed that down through interviews to the five farms we have now," she said.
Mr Thompson agreed the project was helping farmers to make informed decisions.
“They’ve deliberately chosen very different farms,” he said.
“So our system is different to the four other farms and each other farm is very different to each other.
“Farmers will come here and there may not be a lot to take home because our system is very different, but maybe there are some who will see something that is useful.
“It’s been a very good project and people have traveled a fair way to get here, who are interested in what we are doing.
“The idea of the project is to expand knowledge of other systems and what works and doesn’t work, to grow a more vibrant and sustainable dairy industry in NSW,” he said.
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