Despite dairy price war local farmers display optimism

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: David and Carrie Wilson, Talana, Knapp Creek hope to one day operate a dairy from their property.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: David and Carrie Wilson, Talana, Knapp Creek hope to one day operate a dairy from their property.

The overall mood at the farmers forum during the Food Heroes day at the Platell’s farm last week was testy to say the least.

Concerns about the future of the dairy industry in Queensland and the already strained relationship between producers and processors was brought to the fore yet again.

But that will not deter Beaudesert locals David and Carrie Wilson from their plans to enter the dairy industry.

The husband and wife pairing own a property at Knapp Creek about 30 kilometres south west of Beaudesert.

They currently run a 10-15 head on the property and are hoping to establish a Jersey herd for milking. 

Mr Wilson said one day down the track he would like to turn his farm into a fully fledged dairy operation.

“We have had our property for nearly 12 years now so this plan has been in the works for a while now,” he said.

After being around farms his whole life and having developed a passion for livestock, Mr Wilson said both he and his wife were optimistic about moving into the industry.

“Carrie has a degree in human nutrition, so between us with our knowledge base we hope to have grass fed, high quality Jersey cows that in turn provide tasty and healthy dairy products for consumers,” he said.

Delegates at Thursday’s forum heard that since de-regulation in 2001, more than 70 per cent of Queensland’s diary farms had closed.

Mr Wilson said that if the industry continued to lose more farms there would be opportunities for niche producers across South East Queensland. 

“Cafe’s and restaurants are looking for an edge over their competitors, so if we provide a locally sourced product that people enjoy drinking with their latte than we may have a chance.”

“Once consumers find out that their milk is not fresh and is being trucked up from Victoria there may well be a backlash against the bigger processors.”

Once consumers find out that their milk is not fresh and is being trucked up from Victoria there may well be a backlash against the bigger processors. - David Wilson, Knapp Creek

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