Friday, 28 October 2016 15:42

Surprise farm visitor spouts anti-dairy views

Written by  Mady Brennan
Jack Hayes Jack Hayes

IT was a normal day on the Hayes family farm at Avoca in the southern highlands of NSW. 

Son Jack, 18, was putting filters together in preparation for milking.  

His brother Harry, 14, was bringing in the cows with his grandfather. 

Parents Evan and Kylie were holidaying in Adelaide. 

When Jack saw unfamiliar car pull up near the yards, it wasn’t surprising. 

The farm is on a busy road, and tourists often pull in and ask to see the cows or check for directions.  

“A lady drove up in a Subaru. I thought she might have been lost,” Jack says. 

“She came and said ‘I was wondering, how do you treat your cows?” and I said ‘We treat them good, why?’. 

‘I reckon dairy farmers don’t treat them right, they are forced to get milked,’ the visitor said. 

“And I said ‘Well, they get treated better than many humans, they get fed five times a day and they get to walk home freely’.” 

The woman told Jack she didn’t believe him, to which Jack replied: “Well I’ve told you what we do, and if you don’t believe me, you can go and stick a carrot up your arse!” 

The woman then hopped in the car and drove off. 

Jack’s father Evan says he’s proud of the way his son handled the situation. 

“It didn’t really bother him, nothing really bothers Jack,” he says. 

But Evan says he’s disappointed the woman has the wrong ideas about dairy farming. 

“You’d prefer to have people come in and see the cows and get the right facts. And actually see how they are treated instead of rely on gossip that goes on in the media.” 

He’s thankful it didn’t happen to someone else. 

“It could have been different if the farmer had had a bad day, with the ways things are.” 

Evan says it hasn’t rattled the family too much, but they may purchase additional security, such as cameras, which they were considering anyway. 

“We don’t want to stop people coming on farm if they are curious,” Evan said. “But it does shock you a bit.” 

A spokeswoman for peak lobby group Australian Dairy Farmers said it encouraged farmers to open their farms to their local community, as part of their aim to be open and transparent on animal health and welfare. 

She said ADF has an ongoing dialogue with animal welfare groups including the RSPCA, Animals Australia, Voiceless and others. 

 “We may have different opinions on some issues, but there are also many areas where we agree.”  

She said the Dairy Australia website was a good resource for farmers and consumers looking for more information. 

More like this

Mixed messages hurting WA farmers

Mixed messages from processors means Western Australian dairy farmers don’t know whether they need to grow or shrink to find prosperity.

To tube or not to tube?

Research has shown that dairy calves should be actively fed good quality colostrum as soon as possible after birth in order to benefit in the short and long term.

MG appoints John Spark as Chair

Murray Goulburn has appointed a non-supplier in John Spark as Chairman of the co-op, less than a month after flagging the idea in its half-year financial report.

More from this category

National Foods closes cheese sites

National Foods will sell its cheese processing plants in South Australia and close its two Victorian plants within three years.  The moves were announced as part of a $132 million investment in Tasmania, aimed at rationalising the company’s cheese making business.

NZ payout drop delivers a 'sobering blow'

NEW ZEALAND dairy farmers will be forced to make more hard decisions in the season ahead, as the country’s processors slash their forecast farm gate milk prices to well below the cost of production.

Milk processors want you

International demand and expansion in local processing facilities has fuelled renewed competition between Australian processors for southern milk supply.

Scramble for precious water in WA

SOME 2200 megalitres of water might seem only a drop in the ocean for flood weary farmers in northern and eastern Australia but in the drought-stricken west every bit of a new allocation will be precious.

Progression plan a work in progress

Unfortunately, many families can't broach the topic of succession planning at the kitchen table, so it was refreshing to hear WA farmer Peter Evans discussing his family's approach in front of 200 people.

Floods bring New Year chaos to northern dairy industry

THE QUEENSLAND dairy industry is starting 2011 in chaos, swamped by New Year floods engulfing the State.The big wet which drenched Central Queensland in December moved to the southeast corner of the State with devastating impact in the second week of January.

PRIME MINISTER Julia Gillard is deliberately misleading Australians by claiming she wants to keep the Murray-Darling reform process on time, according to Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Senator Simon Birmingham.

 

MURRAY GOULBURN has taken up all of its rights in takeover target Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory’s (WCBF) $48 million entitlement offer.

 

THE HEAD of one of the world’s largest dairy cooperative wants the industry to do more to promote the goodness of dairy.

MURRAY GOULBURN has increased its prices by 35c/kg for protein and 14c/kg for butterfat – or $5.25/kg for milksolids – backdated to July 1.

ALTHOUGH AREAS of northern Victoria may remain under water for months, the amount of damage wreaked by the state’s floods is slowly being assessed.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.\nBasic HTML code is allowed.

» Get social

When butter and chocolate collide

TWO New Zealand companies Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers have teamed up to deliver what must be every dairy lover’s dream: chocolate butter.

Milking it - Ice cream for dogs

EFFORTS to extend the market for dairy know no bounds, with an American company The Bear and The Rat, creating a yoghurt-based ice cream for dogs.