AT the age of 4, Rodney Teese was memorising the numbers on the tag of each cow that came onto his family’s dairy farm.
Mr Teese, now 40, is a proud fourth generation dairy farmer who manages three properties with 280 head of cattle with his father Greg.
Mr Teese said he followed the tradition of remaining in Veresdale Scrub and continuing the business.
“There are four dairy farms left in Veresdale Scrub and they’re all owned by dad and I or my cousins,” he said.
“A family run farm is the best farm there is.”
Mr Teese’s passion for dairy saw him waking up in the early hours of the morning to milk cows for his grandfather and a Gleneagle farmer before school.
“I woke up at quarter past 4 to milk the cows, went home and got ready for school,” he said.
Mr Teese said he enjoyed working on the land and never thought of doing anything else.
“I’ve always been interested in cows,” he said.
“I finished high school in 1993 and I’ve been here ever since.”
Dubbed as one of the youngest dairy farmers in the Scenic Rim, Mr Teese said he also enjoyed breeding and showing his animals, like his grandfather used to do.
“My (Holstein Friesian) won her age class in all three shows I entered her in this year at Gatton, Beaudesert and Lismore,” he said.
“It’s good knowing that we bred her ourselves and she’s a good cow.”
Mr Teese’s typical day
- Rodney and Greg Teese arrive at the farm, which is primarily for milking, just before 5am
- The pair begin milking cows from 5am until 7am
- Mr Teese then takes his children to school and returns to his duties on the farm
- Depending on the season, Mondays and Thursdays would be milling grain days
- The cows are then fed
- The duo begin cattle work such as vaccinating their stock, calving cows and spraying weeds, and tractor work
- The second milking for the day kicks off at 3.30pm
Mr Teese said he would continue working in partnership with his father despite the gloom in the industry.
“Dairy isn’t the best industry to be in at the moment – it’s getting worse each year,” he said.
“On average the milk price is about 50 to 55 cents a litre whereas 10 years ago it was 60 cents.
“We need it to go back to 60 cents to be a viable industry in Queensland.”
Echoing the attitude of several other Scenic Rim dairy farmers, Mr Teese said there would always be a pressure to lower the price of milk so long as $1/litre milk was still on the shelves.
“We will continue to lose money in terms of farm gate level,” he said.
“It would be nice to get rid of the $1/litre milk but either way I believe dairy farmers should be paid a premium for their product.”
Mr Teese said he continue to urge the community to support their farmers by purchasing branded milk.
“It doesn’t matter which branded milk you buy,” he said.
“Any branded milk sale is better than the home brand because every dollar will go back to the community when farmers buy seeds, fertiliser and fuel for tractors in Beaudesert.”
The story Rodney Teese follows in family’s footsteps in dairy first appeared on Queensland Country Life.