During my second career, my second husband suggested we head to the Atherton Tablelands, which I have always loved because of its bucolic rolling hills.
However, we needed to find a property, with beef cattle in mind, which provided an income. Problem was that beef properties were beyond our reach, but dairy properties were a consideration. Having found a small family-run dairy, which suited us, took about three months.
New Year’s Resolution
Then as a New Year’s resolution I decided to do six weeks work experience before taking over. It was the most wonderful, awesome, amazing, full-filling 42days of my working career. Everything I did and learned went to plan. I felt I had been doing this dairying caper all my life.
I only had one little hitch during that time, which involved the bull letting me know that he was the boss of the herd. From that day, my respect for bulls has been everlasting.
This leads me to the day we took over on 14th February, 2006. As the previous owners waved their eager farewells, through the window of their car, we became the actual owners of a 300 acres, 120 herd dairy.
Comes In Twos
On that day, two calves were born and two cows died in the dry paddock. To leave dead cows in a paddock only enticed wild dogs to attack the other dry cows (A dry cow is a few months off calving. It’s milk production has reduced considerably, so it has been dried off to allow her to rest, thus giving more nutrients to her unborn calf).
Life of Dairy Farmer Begins
Hence, the dead cows were ceremoniously cremated using old tyres and some fuel to ensure they were reduced to ashes. It was heartbreaking to lose two valuable animals from our small farm, but so began my life as a dairy farmer (2006-2011).