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TAS Country : January 5th 2012
uary 6, 2012 11 heck out the best in dairy farms in the UK and New Zealand. Pictures: ROGER HANSON DOWN TO EARTH: Lis Beattie with her calves. Their herd is now 850-strong. GREEN PASTURES: It has been two years since drought affected the property. COLLECTING SILAGE: The Beatties have converted drylands to an irrigated farm. automated dairy. The Beatties, com- mitted to winter supply, send away 30,000 litres of milk day to the Lion (formerly National Foods) processing plant at Lenah Valley. Last year Mr Beattie spearheaded a successful Tasmanian campaign against low milk prices. Both went to London University's Wye College, with Phil completing an agricultural business degree and Lis a degree in environmental science. They used their well-honed skills from cramming for exams to help them with their entry for the Virbac Proud Achievers Awards. ''We only had a couple of hours to get our 200-word entry before the award deadline closed,'' Mrs Beattie said. ''In our entry we spoke about the processes we used to reduce mastitis and animal husbandry.'' They had reduced the incidence of mastitis on the property by 40 per cent through their use of teat seal, had decreased their calf mortality to less than 1 per cent in 2010, and developed a pasture program to include high- value varieties. While Phil and Lis are away, their eldest son, 26-year-old Jack, runs the farm. He too has tertiary qualifi- cations, having studied agricultural science at Sydney University and the University of Tasmania. Daughter Robyn has opted for a different career and is studying nurs- ing at UTas. Their youngest son, Oscar, who has just completed grade 10 at Hutchins, is yet to decide his future. The family is well and truly settled and definitely call Australia home. ''We got our Australian citizenship as soon as we could,'' Mrs Beattie said. ''Farming is more down-to-earth in Australia; [we] don't have to deal with the snobbery associated with land ownership in the UK. Australians are naturally friendly.'' The Beatties will continue to keep a keen eye out for ways to value-add at the dairy farm. ''We are always looking for some- thing to add value to the product,'' Mrs Beattie said. ''We will have those thoughts and keep mulling them over. ''The great thing about the study tour is when a farmer is on holiday you still are a farmer, always looking for new ideas, and our trips, although exhausting, were a great experience.''
December 22nd 2011
January 13th 2012