In 2015 Matt and Emily Neilson leased the property that they would eventually start the dairy on and began to redevelop the old infrastructure that was on the property so that it would once again be capable of milking cows.
They purchased a herd of 70 milking cows from a local retiring farmer and began their dairy farming journey on the 15th of April 2015.
Seven days later the farm was hit by the Dungog Superstorm which saw approximately two thirds of the property sitting under water for 3 days.
Not to be deterred, they re-erected fences and planted the sodden paddocks to winter rye grass- something they do every Autumn to provide high quality feed for the cows through winter.
In 2016 the new business was hit with the milk price drop- something you would have seen on the news. The price of milk being paid to farmers was dropped unsustainably low and and was arguably less than what it was costing to produce at that time. Things were very difficult during this time as cash flow became increasingly hard to generate and the rain had been hard to come by for some time.
The couple decided that something had to be done and figured that if consumers were happy to pay $1 for a litre of milk it was because they did not understand the work that went into producing it. So the education program was developed and the gates of the dairy began to open to the public.
Since then, the farm has battled increasingly difficult climatic conditions. Enduring the 'Worst drought ever seen in the Hunter Valley' for 3 long years has made them better farmers in the long run but, at times, has pushed them to the brink. Their focus is the health, happiness, comfort and productivity of their growing herd of beautiful Holstein and Illawarra cows and their calves. They are focused on a sustainable and productive business that endures the tough times and continues to flourish.
Inviting people to visit the farm has helped them and supported them during these times and continues to do so. Not only does welcoming people to the farm and educating them assist financially, it also helps to maintain the passion that the couple have for the Australian dairy industry.
In late 2021 the couple moved their farm business, cows and family to a new farm at John's River on the NSW Mid North Coast. The new farm is bigger with infrastructure that will allow Matt and Emily to grow their dairy business and feed their gorgeous herd of cows well even when times are dry and rain is hard to come by.
The family looks forward to welcoming you to their new farm in early 2022!