Voiceless – a well meaning group doing more harm than good

As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday Voiceless have recently released a report that doesn’t show the Australian dairy industry in the best light

I don’t know what their agenda is –

Do they want Australians to stop drinking milk?

Do they want to shut down the Australian dairy industry?

Do they want Australians to not have access to the most affordable, safest, nutritious staple food that provides the perfect start to every day?

What I do know is that Voiceless just don’t get it.  I know this because once again I have nominated on behalf of the NSW dairy industry to sit on the national committee whose sole focus is the wellbeing of dairy cows in Australia.

I know Voiceless there are practices in our industry we are highly committed to phasing out and every state is working on a set of standards that will do everything humanely possible to meet or exceed consumer expectations about the way they want their milk produced.

Just how do you explain to organisations like Voiceless the way dairy farmers love their cows?

To start with no-one should dairy farm unless they do love cows first and foremost

It should be the first box every dairy farmer ticks when they decide they want to be a dairy farmer

I can’t talk on behalf of all dairy farmers I can only talk about the way my family love their cows

The way Marian MacDonald loves hers

The way Gillian Hayman and Graeme Nicol love theirs

The way Alison Germon loves hers

I haven’t been to Marian’s farm. I haven’t been to Graeme and Gillian’s farm. I haven’t been to Alison’s farm but I know they love their cows because of the way they write about them in their blogs

As my readers know I never wanted to be a dairy farmer but my family did. I wasn’t very good at milking cows and don’t like getting up at three am in the morning. So I did what I do best and one of those things was helping my family show their beloved cattle.

I was a pharmacist for over 25 years and I worked very very long hours to help support the farm and buy those beloved cattle.

But every year at show time I made sure that I was available to clean all the halters, provide the delicious lunch and  work my butt off on show day to ensure our team of show cows went into the show ring looking the very best they possibly could.

The staff in the pharmacy I managed also loved the cows and bombarded me with questions about how we went at the show when I walked in the door for my next shift.

Our family holidays centred around Sydney Show or shows Michael was invited to judge at. Michael’s sister used to help us and there are many many happy memories.

And as it turned out Michael’s son loves cows too

Nick and Pam

We did our very best to support all our local regional shows

KIama Show

I broke open the champagne bottle this day

Last Friday it was their favourite local show at the beautiful Berry Showground. Berry is a favourite because it provides the best shade and shelter options for the cows

Nick at Berry Show

 Nick picking up a blue ribbon at Berry Show 20 years ago

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and of course the highlight is always taking out the tri- colour ribbon at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Please Voiceless find another cause. Create havoc some-where else. Australian dairy farmers love their cows We aren’t perfect  but our farmers DO get up every day to do it better

We do care about our cows and we do care what the people who drink our milk care about and we can work together to get the right balance. What we don’t need is Voiceless putting out and promoting sensationalised reports for some agenda I am yet to determine

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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