A Land of Milk and…..Milk! – Guest Blogger, member Elizabeth Reid

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The annual CWA Agricultural & Environmental seminar was held recently, with this year’s topic, “What Milk is in your Fridge”, providing an interesting and enlightening two days.

Mr Gavin Moore from Gavana Holsteins, Camden was our host on Monday. His farm was originally purchased from Hannibal McArthur (John McArthur’s brother) in the early 1800s. Gavin is a 6th generation farmer and is passionate about his farm and the dairy industry. His dairy and facilities have been designed to accommodate visitors on educational tours. The farm annually hosts 2500 primary school students and 1200 adult visitors from Korea, China and Japan. Gavin has input into the current primary school curriculum regarding food and fibre.

Gavin gave us a generous morning tea and lunch while talking about the history of the dairy industry from hand milking, to producer owned processing facilities, the $1 a litre milk, to boutique processing facilities. For more information you can visit Dairy Australia, or Country Valley Milk.

Pierre aka Pepe Saya began a culturing butter business after he made 20kg of butter from 200 litres of excess cream. The unpalatable butter fiasco encouraged him to learn the art of making cultured butter. His now very palatable product is sold at farmer’s markets and selected stores.

Dr John Pearce from the Manildra Group discussed the chemical components of milk and the composition of commercially available milks.

Robyn Slade of White Cedars Goat Stud gave samples of her goat’s milk soap – all natural ingredients. Robyn informed us of her passion for goats and various uses of goat’s milk.

WIRES representative, Caroline Enfield, spoke on the wedge-tailed eagle, our current fauna study topic.  Wedge-tailed eagles are Australia’s largest bird of prey. Caroline said many birds are brought to WIRES from car accidents.

Our grateful thanks to Joy Beames, State Agricultural & Environmental Officer, for organising our tour and great speakers who delivered their information with humour and panache; we all enjoyed the seminar immensely.

Elizabeth Reid

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