Farmer’s chance to say cheese
TASMANIAN farmer Shaelyn Van Brecht is usually at ease in a dairy, but not in front of a film crew encouraging her to “relax” for the camera.
The 24-year-old from Ringarooma in the state’s North-East joined a group of female dairy farmers in Victoria for a day to make a video to promote the benefits of eating Australian cheese.
“When the camera crew was filming they told lots of bad cow jokes to try to get me to relax,” she said.
“I was a bit nervous. I was the first of eight [women] to be filmed and I was the youngest.”
Shaelyn milks up to 480 cows, a mix of Friesians, Jerseys and crossbreeds, at her parents’ dairy farm, where she has worked full time since 2016.
“You have to get up early and you have to be a hard worker if you want to be on a dairy farm, but there are lots of rewards,” she said.
The Dairy Australia ad campaign, Be Legendairy, Eat Aussie Cheese, aims to encourage people and especially women to buy and eat more locally produced cheese.
Ms Van Brecht said through filming she gained an insight into the varied roles women have on Australian dairy farms.
“I learnt [you have] to put yourself out there and talk about what you do.
“I wasn’t as chatty at first because I thought the others would know more than me. But they were intrigued by me as a young dairy farmer and what we do at our farm.”