The picturesque rolling hills around Millaa Millaa in Far North Queensland is home to DFMC Director James Geraghty and his Finish-born wife Sari.
For James and Sari, dairy farming is a way of life. “I love being able to get up and do what we do and to be your own boss,” said James.
James purchased the farm in 1981 with his parents and he has lived and worked in the region ever since. James and Sari are currently running a dairy herd of around 230 Fresians plus 40 Brahmans for beef and, when he’s not running the business, he enjoys a bit of camping, fishing and shooting.
As a long-term and committed DFMC member, James believes FNQ farmers are stronger together by working collaboratively under the co-operative. When the position on the DFMC Board became available in 2009, James thought he had been in the business long enough and had enough time to dedicate to the job to take it on and do it justice.
“I just hope I can help dairy farmers achieve better outcomes,” he said. “It’s important for Far North Queensland producers to have a local voice who understands the local environment.
“We do dairy farming very differently up here. Our tropical grasses are not as digestible as ryegrass and we get less milk off our pastures than dairy farmers down south.
“Everything we use we have to freight to us and that makes the cost of production higher than average.”
Far North Queensland farmers are also in a different situation than their counterparts elsewhere in the country because there is only one main processor.
James’ industry experience, long-term commitment to the industry, and deep understanding of the people in the industry in Far North Queensland have helped inform and guide the DFMC Board to best support farmers in the region.
“I just want to make sure our dairy farmers are listened to,” he added.