Mother and daughter Julie and Sarah Fusinato share a passion for dairy, working together on the family farm before Sarah left Gippsland for Richmond, joining our business as a Farm Source Service Centre Specialist.
I’ve lived on a dairy farm for most of my life – helping my parents from a young age, before taking on my own farm with my husband, Mick, in 1992.
It’s a really varied and hands-on role. On any given day, I’m milking cows morning and night, feeding calves, and allocating pasture. In between this, I could be picking up farm supplies, drenching or vaccinating young stock, spraying weeds, doing minor fence repairs or keeping the financial and farm records up-to-date. There’s always something that needs to be done.
While I grew up on a farm, I haven’t always worked in dairy. After I finished school I tried the corporate life for a few years and worked at ANZ Bank. Then Mick and I headed to Western Australia and travelled the state working in the mines. I worked as a mill operator, truck driver and crusher operator for a few years.
Although, I’m happy that I came back to dairy. I really enjoy working with the cows, rearing calves and working outside. There are always different jobs to be done and often a challenge presents itself.
Raising kids on a dairy farm has given us the opportunity to share the experience of farm life, the value of being involved in a small rural community, and explore and appreciate the environment around us. The fun of campfires and building cubbies, having pets, looking after newborn calves, riding motorbikes, seeing large machinery working, and driving paddock bombs.
Farm kids have a better understanding of where food comes from, and they also learn about being flexible and resourceful as they’re often alongside their parents as they carry out their farming duties. It could be the inconvenience of animals escaping onto the road when you’re going out, eating dinner any time between 6-10pm, or coping with floods, drought or bushfires. There are always challenges, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything.
I’m happy Sarah has chosen to stay working in dairy, even though she’s a little further away from home now. Sarah is independent, honest, kind, considerate, respectful and compassionate, which are more important to me than her many academic achievements. I’m very proud of the daughter she’s become and I know she would love to be a farmer herself one day.
I’ve always loved working on the farm with animals. Looking after young calves, feeding out grain milking, and getting to be outside – rather than being stuck inside like a lot of the city kids.
For as long as I can remember I was in the dairy helping to milk cows, or following mum around the farm while we did odd jobs. As I grew older, it became one of my part time jobs – or more like a hobby – and you’d often find me in the dairy before and after school.