By Ray & Alisa Clews, QDO members
It has been a whirlwind few years for the dairy industry in Central Queensland with many highs and lows including natural disasters, social media campaigns a lot of hard work. Although dairy is not has regionally significant as it used to be, the industry continues to contribute to the local economy and community.
It was this connection with the community that drove our involvement in this year’s Rockhampton Show in putting together the recent milking display.
The dairy display was positioned in one of the busiest thoroughfares at the showgrounds and consisted of two milking cows with demonstrations three times a day. The milk from the demonstrations was used to feed the four one-week-old heifer calves also at the display.
The display and demonstrations attracted large crowds with the public eager to get a better understanding of the process behind the milk they buy at the supermarket. It was great to have a display from our local producer Parmalat with locally produced products there for the public to see. Some locals did not know there was still a dairy industry in Central Queensland as well as a factory in Rockhampton.
We were blown away by the public interest and support we received at the dairy stand. We could hardly get time for a break between the constant streams of people. Thousands of local residents took the time to show their appreciation for the dairy industry at the show.
Most had seen the recent social media campaign to buy branded milk and support the dairy industry. Some had been buying branded for a while and others admitted they had changed their buying habits. It was very uplifting as a long term dairying family to hear so much positivity and support for what we were doing.
Local agricultural shows are invaluable in promoting our dairy industry and this is why we will be back bigger and better at next year’s Rockhampton Show.