I took a road trip to Ballarat today. It’s interesting driving through the landscape and seeing it change from the familiar orange/yellow bush grasses to lush, green rolling hills the closer I came to my destination. Fourteen minutes drive from Ballarat’s CBD will find you at Inglenood Dairy or if you’re travelling from Bendigo like me, add another 1.5 hours to the trip. This is a third generation run farm, and looking favourable toward a further succession with three eager and willing children of farm custodians, Rachel and Troy Peterken.
Their ethos is around providing a quality product and farming sustainability – they are continuing to work hard in leaving a legacy Rachel’s late father had begun, and his father before him in supporting local, small scale dairy farmers within their region. In 2011, their processing factory on farm opened and so they were able to take control over milk pricing and offer fair and reasonable prices to neighbouring farms. They want to provide dairy farmers the option of better milk prices in order to see their local industry continue and thrive.
Recently a new addition was added – the educational hub which sits a stone’s throw from the processing factory. Here students are invited to see, touch and experience dairy farming – all the while learning where milk comes from and debunking the many myths which can be found on the internet. (we all know you just can’t believe everything you read on the internet!) Learning who produces your food, where it is made, how it is farmed and who is farming is so important in shaping the way we make our food purchases. Leave the fizzy drinks on the supermarket shelves and invest in businesses like Inglenook Dairy. That couple of extra dollars goes along way toward supporting our local food systems and the families who work so hard, everyday, in producing these foods for us.