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Quality care earns farmer dairy award

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
Matthew Brett with his wife Angela and two children Lucas, 7, and Madison, 9.
Camera IconMatthew Brett with his wife Angela and two children Lucas, 7, and Madison, 9. Credit: Supplied

Ferguson Valley dairy farmer Matt Brett has been recognised among the best in Australia after being named in the 2018 Dairy Australia Milk Quality Awards.

The awards recognise farms which have achieved the best milk quality based on annual average bulk milk cell count across Australia’s milk processing companies.

Mr Brett said milk quality was about ensuring sound, consistent milking practices and the ability to monitor the whole herd to stay on top of emerging issues.

“I focus on health and make sure we’re feeding the cows well,” he said.

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“We do herd recording every month which is very helpful and gives you a sense of how your herd’s going.

“I can have a cell count of 40,000 one day and it can spike to 200,000 the next if a cow gets mastitis. A lot of people say if you’ve got a small farm, you have it easier. But you’ve still got to stay on top of it.”

Mr Brett said the health of his herd was his top priority and he felt great satisfaction knowing his cows were in good shape.

“We’ve got filters we use to check every cow and we check them all for mastitis,” he said.

“We also have our machines serviced every year and check them ourselves thoroughly every six months to make sure they remain in good condition.

“Attention to detail is the most important thing – once you achieve high milk quality, it’s easier to maintain.”

Mr Brett said his farm had been in his family for more than 100 years.

“It’s always been in my blood. I helped the old man out whenever I could when I was a little guy,” he said.

“High milk quality is important to the whole industry and helps tell our story.”

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