Letter from Jodie Hay, dairy farmer from Cohuna, Northern Victoria

My name is Jodie Hay and together with my husband Colin we operate a dairy farm in Cohuna in Northern Victoria. On behalf of many more farmers like us, I want to say thank you for choosing Pura-branded milk and supporting drought-affected farmers.

The past year has been one of the driest on record and many Victorian dairy farmers have been very hard hit.

Seeing the drought’s impact, our milk processor partner, Lion Dairy & Drinks, launched its Be True Blue Farmer Drought Fund and added 10 cents per litre to the wholesale milk price of all Pura fresh white milk at participating retailers in NSW, Qld and Victoria from October last year until the end of January this year. The campaign has raised $3.487million, with every cent going to Lion Dairy & Drinks drought-affected farmers in NSW, northern Victoria and South East Queensland.

Prices for feed, water and many other essentials for dairy farms have skyrocketed, so the extra money that we’ve received has helped cover some of these increases. Due to the drought and changes to water policies, in the past week we’ve seen temporary water prices rise to $550 per Megalitre when last season they averaged around the $150 per Megalitre range. We’ve also endured a month-long heat wave with temperatures averaging 39 degrees but getting as high as 49 degrees. So many farmers in Northern Victoria, which was traditionally the State’s largest milk production region, are selling their cows. With milk production already at a 20-year low, there are more losses to come.

Soaking rains are desperately needed to quench the thirsty farms and fill the dams to secure next season’s irrigation water. New grain crops have to be planted and will take a season to grow so we can get feed; and most farmers need to rebuild their herds after reducing numbers through the drought. It will still take time for a full recovery.

Beyond the financial support farmers have received through the Fund though, we’ve been really pleased to see Victorian shoppers buying Pura milk and paying that little bit extra to help us out.

Thank you for helping to raise $3.487million, which is all being paid directly to Lion Dairy & Drinks drought-affected dairy farmers who need a hand in NSW, Northern Victoria and South East Queensland. Your support shows us that Australians do value the milk we proudly produce.

Please keep buying Pura-branded white milk – Aussie dairy farmers are depending on you.

Thanks.

Jodie and Col Hay

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