Farmer’s chance to say cheese

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

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.”

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