A picture paints a thousand words

When people ask me where I live I invariably reply I live in paradise and I am using this post as one of many to give you pictorial reasoning for this claim.

Clover Hill Dairies is located on two farms in the Jamberoo Valley the birthplace of the Australian dairy industry but more famous today as the place “where you control the action”

The home farm is located on the north east face of Saddleback Mountain in very steep rainforest country. In fact 50% of the farm is rainforest so when you run possibly the most intensive pasture based dairying operation in Australia and farm in this very precious environment you feel a huge responsibility to do what is right for the landscape, the cows and the wider community.

There is no denying it is a challenge but oh so worthwhile.

On Friday the cows where outside my house between the 4am and the 12 noon milking. My camera captured their noon stroll to the milking shed.

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  View from my front verandah. This becomes below when the cows move in.

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Michael begins the midday milking roundup

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There is no rush. Always time for a two way pose.

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And no shortage of cows with plenty of attitude. 1453 is called Mandelyn Storm Favourite and she looks like she has been in the good paddock a bit too long not that she is complaining.

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Michael has discovered why the cows are taking a bit longer than usual. There seems to be some silly woman standing in front of them taking pictures

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He just shakes his head and gives me one of his cheeky grins

The cows were back in the front paddock when I went to town the next day

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This is what I saw looking back on my house and the cows when I drove up Saddleback Mountain Rd.

Paradise – we are giving it a pretty good shot don’t you think?

Hello World, Welcome to my world

My name is Lynne Strong and I am a woman with many, many hats. Some I wear better than others I readily admit.

The one I wear most proudly though is my farmer hat. I will be the first to admit it isn’t a hat that I saw myself wearing as a little girl.

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I grew up on a farm and even though I enjoyed being hands on in the day to day running of the farm and the lifestyle that comes with it the idea of being a farmer was most definitely not on my list of top 10 professions.

I farm today because the people I most care about in the world farm and they are in it for the long haul.

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Farming today is no walk in the park. Feeding, clothing and housing the world now and in the next 50 years is going to require an extraordinary effort. This means we need extraordinary people to take up the challenge.  My husband Michael, my son Nick and our farm team (and our cows) have put their hands up to take on the challenge and I want to work side by side with these extraordinary people.

So why write a blog. Well my family have been farming in the Jamberoo Valley on the South Coast of New South Wales since 1831 (and in Ireland and Scotland probably for centuries before that).  That is 7 generations of farming families and 180 years of blood sweat, tears, passion and commitment that have gone into what is now producing milk for 50,000 Australians everyday

That’s 180 years of great stories waiting to be told. And I knew from my interactions with our friends and neighbours that the community wanted to hear those stories.

They just needed the right vehicle. So Art4Agriculture was conceived and Art4Agriculuture has its own entire wardrobe of hats.

But people keep telling me there was still a gap missing, we need more farmers to share their stories to help provide the community with real farmers they can relate to.

Writing a blog is indeed a great way to open the door to our farms, share our ups and downs, the frustrations and challenges, the passion and commitment but most of all show the community that the faith they have in Australian farm produce is warranted.

I am writing this blog to join other inspiring farmers who are opening thier farmgates and help inspire other farming men and women to share their stories. To help show them the community does love farmers, that they do want to hear our stories but they maybe a bit concerned about modern farming practices and whether the way we farm today fits into their rural idyll.

Lets not forget farmers are people and not all people are perfect but there is a whole nation of Australian farmers who get up everyday and say “today I want to move one step closer to being being a perfect farmer”.

What is the definition of perfect farming? That’s the challenge – that’s the two way conversation I would like to have with my readers.

I will put this one out there as a definition this morning “We believe that responsible farming is not only about ‘doing the right thing’ but makes sense – for our animals, our landscape, our people and our communities”.

So lets start the conversation I invite my readers to write me a mission statement for their “perfect” farm