Purnim dairy farmer Lisa Dwyer is paving the way for greater diversity in the dairy industry and showing the next generation that there is more to dairy than milking cows.
Lisa Dwyer has been dairy farming for 17 years, and unlike her husband Eddie, who has been around dairy his entire life, working on the family farm, her background is in management in the thoroughbred racing industry.
Lisa’s management skills, combined with Eddie’s dairy experience, had them running their Hawkesdale farm before moving to Purnim in 2018.
The Purnim farm was originally established by Lisa’s great-grandfather, her grand-father farmed there, her father was born there and when they bought the farm, their son Harvey became the fifth generation to live and work there, and according to Lisa “it was all meant to be”.
When asked about what got her into dairy – she always gives the short answer.
“I was ambushed by a marriage proposal 17 years ago by a dairy farmer and made the fatal mistake of impressing him with a new pair of rubber boots.
“Since then, they’ve been worn daily, worn-out annually and no matter what my husband says, I will never accept that a replacement pair of rubber boots constitutes a new pair of shoes,” says Lisa.
At around 4.15am, Eddie and Lisa fight about who is going for the cows each morning and once that’s settled… she gets out of bed and goes for the cows.
And, like every dairy farm across Australia, there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, but they do their best to follow their always-evolving business plan and set their priorities accordingly.
To think Lisa isn’t busy enough with the farm – she is also an active member of the dairy industry.
Lisa is the non-executive director of the Australian Live Export Corporation, Chair of the Great South Coast Regional Partnership, member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Advisory Committee for the Great South Coast region, member of the Victorian Agricultural Climate Change Advisory Council and Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. She was also previously a Director of Dairy Australia and a Non-executive Director of Murray Goulburn.