Farming in the blood
CRAIG and Deb Allott, and their daughter Emily, 23, run a 470 acre dairy farm in the hills above Toora.
Their son Troy, 25, is a dairy sharefarmer. Another son, Mitchell, 20, is currently completing his apprenticeship as a plasterer and their youngest son Scott, 17, is still at school.
“We are a true farming family. I am third generation dairy farmer and Emily fourth, all on the same Hazel Park property,” Mr Allott said.
“The farm we have now is made up of four farms, all of which were family owned as well.
“The original part of the farm was owned by my grandfather and my dad bought another farm which joins over the river. My brother took over when dad retired and when my brother left, we bought that farm.
“We expanded again by purchasing adjoining land from my uncle, and then about eight years ago we bought the block behind, which was owned by my cousin.
“I chose to start farming because it was what I liked to do, and I still like doing it.”
Emily started on the farm around 15 months ago, after Troy decided to leave the family farm and branch out on his own.
“She works on the farm full time; I call her my assistant manager. She knows how it all works and does it well,” Mr Allott said.
Prior to joining the farm, Emily was working with the then Department of Sustainability and Environment on the summer crew.
“She started working with us once the summer season was up. We thought she might go back to it once the season started again, but she decided to stay of the farm,” Mr Allott said.
Emily said she loves working with her parents on the farm.
“I never really expected to like it. I always said I’d never be a dairy farmer and Troy had always said the same thing,” she said.
“My fiancé, Luke Grylls is also a dairy farmer on a family farm, so the plan is to one day take over either operation.
“Luke and I definitely want to continue dairy farming into the future.”
Mr Allott said family farm succession is one of the only ways younger generations are able to enter the dairy industry these days.
“It can be a hard industry to get in to. That is where the backing of a family run operation can really help,’ he said.
Mr Allott said farming was a great industry.
“You are your own boss, you get to be outside and it is a great lifestyle. You can’t beat it really,” he said.
Emily said while farming, and in particular dairy farming, can be restrictive, it also has its freedoms.
“There is a lot of flexibility in the role, which is one of the advantages of being a family operation,” she said.
Mr Allott said seeing his children involved in farming was a rewarding experience.
“Half a generation behind us, farmers really discouraged their children to become farmers and now they are stuck on their farms with no help,” he said,
“It was partly because of this we didn’t actively encourage or discourage them. Troy and Emily were always keen on farming, just not dairy farming.”
Mr Allott is proud to know his farm has been in his family since it started.
“At one stage, there were three generations working on the same property,” he said.
“We do because we enjoy it. We don’t push ourselves flat out or have a lot of staff; we just plod along the way we are.”
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=11640