Growing a healthy dairy business and lifestyle

Aug 9, 2010

University of Sydney student Alexandra Green trained heifers to respond to sound, opening up possibilities for teaching cows to come to the dairy in response to a particular call.

Victor and Denise Rodwell are living proof that it is possible to expand a dairy business and end up with a better lifestyle. Over the past six years, their herd has grown from 490 cows to 820. It’s a stark contrast to the 45‐ cow operation Victor joined in 1985. Victor, who dairies at Boyanup, Western Australia, is one of the guest speakers at Dairying:  a healthy obsession, being held at Camden, September 8‐9.   His journey involved some serious challenges along the way, on the farming, financial and family fronts. Victor recalls that at one stage milking took 16‐17 hours a day.   “That’s when we decided our farming and business goals had to include a better balance between work and lifestyle,” said Victor. Fast forward to 2010 and the family has regular weekends off as well as three to four weeks holiday a year.   The Rodwells were regional finalists in the 2010 Dairy Business of the Year awards. The awards were based on financial analysis of last season’s performance. The Rodwells milked 625 cows from 240ha, achieving $3,228 profit/ha, an 11.3% return on capital, and 31% operating profit margin. To find out more about Victor’s experience and what he believes are the keys to achieving a healthy dairy business and lifestyle, register for Dairying:  a healthy obsession, being held at Camden, September 8‐9. The program includes a host of exciting speakers including overseas experts and Australian dairy farmers, advisors and researchers.

Diary Date: Dairying: a healthy obsession September 8‐9 Liz Kernohan Conference Centre, University of Sydney, Camden campus. Registrations: contact Michelle Heward or Sherry Catt, ph (02) 9351‐ 1631, or e‐mail or go online: