Our Cobden Quality Manager is choosing to challenge


This International Women’s Day, we’re running a series to celebrate three women in south-west Victoria who #ChooseToChallenge. 

Last week, we profiled Purnim dairy farmer Lisa Dwyer, and up next is our Cobden Quality Manager Caitlin Croft.

Growing up on a 200ha farm in Allansford, Caitlin always helped her parents with milking their 300 cows, right up until she left for university.

Caitlin has a degree in animal and veterinary bioscience, agriculture, and zoology, and a minor in microbiology from La Trobe University, and says she found a love for microbiology and at the end of her  studies.

“I wanted to move back to the south-west and a job as a microbiological technician came up at Fonterra’s Cobden site, and I was successful in getting the role. Now, I’ve been working at the Cobden site for 10 years.

“Growing up I was always curious about what happened to the milk once it left the farm.

“I’d seen my parents working hard day after day to produce such a great product, and I wondered what happens to it next, how is it treated, and once it is made into a product, where does it go – this is why I am doing what I do,” says Caitlin.

Caitlin would love to see more women enter the manufacturing industry, as she believes there are so many great opportunities in dairy manufacturing, and she works with many women who are the best at what they do, but there could always be more.

“Every day is different in manufacturing, so it keeps my job interesting. I want to see more women just go for it – there’s plenty of opportunity in the industry to make a solid career in many different areas, from the farm right through to the factory.

“This industry has its challenges, but for me, it’s very rewarding to see a product that you have helped produce, like Western Star butter, on the supermarket shelves for our family and friends to enjoy,” says Caitlin.