Young Queensland farmer, and University of Queensland Agribusiness student, Kieran Bourke didn’t expect the response he received after creating a video showing a day in the life of a dairy farmer, but with almost 70,000 hits on Facebook and 1000-plus on YouTube, the 19-year-old started a revolution of awareness for the Australian dairy industry.
The video was produced as part of UQ Gatton’s ‘thank a farmer’ week in late 2015 and pairs perfectly with the Legendairy communications initiative to raise the profile and reputation of Australia’s dairy industry.
Bourke, a fourth-generation farmer from a farm located close to the Gladfield Valley near Warwick, said that the Australian dairy industry suffered from a lack of recognition for the hard work that local farmers put into producing the best product.
“Dairy farming doesn’t start and stop with putting the milking cups on – there’s a lot more to it than that,” Bourke said. “I thought I’d compile a video to demonstrate what we do at home and explain that if you don’t support Australian farmers now we might not be here to produce milk in the future.”
The Bourke family farm is owned and operated by Kieran’s grandfather John, father Kevin, and uncles Paul and Shane. Starting with half a dozen cows in 1969 Bourke’s grandfather grew the business into what it is now – 475 Australian Illawarra shorthorns on 465 hectares of land that supply Parmalat.
Bourke said that the success of his family farm, the lifestyle, and good family role models all inspired his passion for the industry and encouraged his tertiary education.
“We’re really happy with how our business is going,” Kieran said “Cow health and husbandry is an integral part of the operation and we work really hard on nutrition and having the best condition for our cows and calves.”
“The course is one of the best experiences I could have and to work with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries just adds another component to my experience,” Bourke said. “We’re producing a quality product and I like being able to improve genetics, business, and crops, everything about farming.”
“There’s a lot of potential for the industry with the uptake of new technology.”
But though he loves his study and work, Bourke can’t wait to get home to the farm.
“I just want to get my hands dirty.” Bourke said.
Words by Shannon Coward