The dairy farmer
In 1895, Oscar Ronalds settled a small parcel of land in Jindivick, Gippsland. His dairy farm grew, and has been in the family ever since. His great, great grandson Steve purchased the farm and followed in the family tradition. He now oversees the milking of 450 jersey cows every day.
The dairy farmer’s daughter
Sallie Jones was born and raised on a dairy farm in Lakes Entrance, in East Gippsland. She spent her childhood in the farm’s milking sheds with her father, and later in the family’s ice cream shop, working diligently to support her father’s enterprise.
Out of crisis, an opportunity
In November 2015, a motorbike accident left Steve nursing broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder blade, a punctured lung, and short-term memory loss. Three hospitals later, he returned to his farm in Jindivick. He was unable to milk cows for eight months, his arm and shoulder too weak and too painful.
Then in April of the following year, tragedy struck when Sallie’s father passed away at his Lakes Entrance dairy farm.
Around the same time, the dairy industry was rocked when the two major milk processors slashed the price they paid to farmers for their milk. This left a trail of debt and despair throughout country Victoria.
Both at a crossroad, but keen to honour their dairy farming backgrounds, Sallie and Steve came together and started wrestling with the twin challenges of how to dairy farm sustainably, as well as support those dairy farmers who were struggling.
Gippsland Jersey was born. Bypassing the large milk processors allows Gippsland Jersey to ensure a fair price is paid to farmers, and gives consumers are clear choice when buying their milk.
And by returning a portion of profits to the Gippsland farming community, Gippsland Jersey helps support the mental and emotional wellbeing of dairy farmers who may be struggling.