Juggling motherhood, a 81 hectare dairy farm and community environmental projects are just part of the working week for Dairy Farmers supplier Leesa Swan of Jamberoo, NSW.
Since Leesa commenced her role at Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) in 2006, she has helped drive more than 53 environmental projects funded by CMA through the National Landcare Program.
Leesa and her husband Alan, who is also a big believer in caring for the environment, are committed to their farm as it has been in their family for three generations.
“Alan’s grandfather was part of the original Jamberoo milk cooperative, which amalgamated with Dairy Farmers in 1984, so tradition is a big thing for us,” Leesa said.
“We want to keep supplying to Dairy Farmers, and we want to continue to farm this land, so we need to find ways to do so sustainably.”
Aside from managing the natural resources on their own farm, these enterprising Dairy Farmers suppliers are relishing the opportunity to help fellow farmers understand the cost-saving benefits of sustainable agriculture. It also provides the industry an opportunity to highlight the things farmers are doing to protect the environment for the whole community.
“It’s exciting to watch farmers as they become involved in these natural resource management projects and start to gain confidence in the resulting benefits for their farm’s productivity,” Leesa said.
“On our farm, we’ve implemented an effluent management system which helps save on fertiliser costs, and we recently received funding to plant two shade belts, which will not only boost production in happier, healthier cows but also help protect the local environment.”
Leesa and Alan’s backgrounds are well suited to their current focus on sustainable agriculture. Leesa has a love of the outdoors and a university degree in Environmental Science, while Alan is a keen farmer with a degree in Natural Resource Management.
Together they are committed to developing their dairy farm, which currently milks 150 Holsteins, into a thriving business. And Leesa never knows – farming just might continue into the next generation if one of their three young sons decides one day they’d also like to protect the land their mother and father nurtured with such care.