Letter from Scott Brown, dairy farmer from Rayglen Farm, Upper Pinelands in South East Queensland
My name is Scott Brown. I’m a fourth generation dairy farmer. We probably haven’t met, but I’m one of the farmers who provides the milk and other dairy products in your fridge. I’m writing on behalf of many more farmers to ask you to help us by choosing Dairy Farmers milk when you next stock up.
I’m 50 years old now and this is by far the worst drought I’ve ever seen.
My mum, Glenda is 82 and she says it’s the first time that she can remember that we’ve missed the winter crop. We had hay stored and I thought we had enough, but how much is enough for a drought like this?
Has it been tough? Yes, it is full on. The drought has made things hard financially and you really have to watch the bills coming in. Fuel, rates, electricity; they’re the bills that have to be paid, and with less grass you have to buy 28 tonnes of dairy pellet a month to feed the cows. You need money for feed for the next couple of months too, as well as money to buy seed and fertiliser for next year’s crop.
“We’re dairy farmers through and through and we’ve raised our family here: Josh, Tammekka, Rachelle and Kristin and it makes me proud that they talk of wanting to work on the farm one day.”
Don’t get me wrong, it is a good life and we’ve always enjoyed dairy farming. Three years ago we won the Quality Milk Award for South Eastern Queensland and have been runner up for the last two years. To do what you love and be recognised for the quality that we try to give to people, that’s rewarding.
We’re dairy farmers through and through and we’ve raised our family here: Josh, Tammekka, Rachelle and Kristin and it makes me proud that they talk of wanting to work on the farm one day. I do wonder if they’re going to be rewarded for that, but I tell them the opportunity is here if they want to take it on.
I asked my wife Dianne what we would do if we didn’t milk cows, and she said it’s all we know. She’s absolutely right. The reward for us is producing quality milk that’s recognised and appreciated by people who buy Dairy Farmers, the brand that our milk supplies. If you want to help, please buy Dairy Farmers 1, 2 or 3L fresh milk. The temporary extra 10 cents per litre that is being added to the wholesale price at lots of stores is a big help.
It gives us a little more hope that there are people out there thinking of us and giving us a bit of hand when times are tough. I don’t know how long the drought will last, but what I do know is that the support and generosity of those who are thinking of us and helping us out, it makes me feel proud.
Thanks for choosing Dairy Farmers milk. Your support really does make a big difference for farmers.
Scott and Dianne Brown