Grants program boosts dairy farms’ sustainability

Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion) and Landcare Australia have awarded ten Australian dairy farmers with grants to improve sustainability on their farms.

The ten dairy farmers who are based in five states across Australia have been awarded funding through this year’s Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants program for projects that will help them respond to challenges and enhance the sustainability of their operations.

Close to $100,000 in funding has been awarded this year to  help these dairy farmers undertake projects focused on a variety of initiatives, including increased use of solar power, implementation of technology to reduce energy consumption, revegetation to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality, and the recycling of waste water.

Dairy Farmers from across Australia who supply Lion either directly or through the Dairy Farmers Mil Cooperative were invited to submit applications for a Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grant late last year with project ideas focusing on reducing energy consumption, improving nutrient management, or increasing biodiversity.

The grant program forms part of Lion Dairy Pride a new dairy farmer sustainability program launched by Lion in 2016. The program offers farmers who supply Lion a unique way to measure, evaluate and improve key areas of sustainability on their farm. The program includes a website and an easy to use online self-assessment tool, which looks at all areas of a dairy business including quality, animal welfare, environment management, farm safety, labor management, and effective business management.


A little bit more about some of the projects that have received funding:

Recapturing waste water to reduce carbon footprint

Beaulands on the South Coast of New South Wales is home to 400 dairy cows across a flood plain of 150 acres.  Energy consumption of the farm will be reduced through a project where heated water from a chilling unit will be captured and reused to fill the hot water system.  This utilisation of what would otherwise be a waste product will help reduce the farm’s carbon footprint and energy bills.


Improving biodiversity in Queensland

Crouch Farming is located on the undulating hills of picturesque Mount Mee in Queensland and encompasses an endangered regional ecosystem of gallery rainforest. Producing around 850,000 litres a year from over 100 cows, the Crouch family is passionate about protecting natural resources alongside its farming operations.  This grant will see the exclusion of stock from 2km of stream banks through fencing, the installation of watering points, and the planting of 500 native trees and shrubs to link with established wildlife corridors. This will result in improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and improved habitat.


Utilising technology to reduce energy consumption and costs

In one of the wettest regions of Australia, 170 cows produce 1.2 million litres of milk per year on 400 acres in Millaa Millaa, Far North Queensland.  The Maiers are building a new dairy, and through this grant will be able to install a variable speed drive and heat recovery unit to help reduce energy consumption, and as a consequence, energy costs.

Grant recipients

Name State Project
Crouch Farming QLD Enhancing Bungo Creek Catchment through revegetation and riparian protection.
Woodbine Holdings VIC Saving energy and oil consumption with the installation of a variable speed drive blower vacuum pump.
Kamay Farming Trust NSW Refurbishment and installation of Glycol Chiller and planting of trees to improve Biodiversity.
Elmar Farms VIC Utilising solar power to reduce energy consumption.
Beaulands NSW Recapturing water to reduce energy consumption.
Blackwood family farms QLD Blackwood’s irrigation upgrade.
JR Jones and Partners TAS Reducing carbon emissions through better feed utilisation.
TG and RG Hamilton QLD Solar hot water conversion for dairy.
The Bartlett Family Trust SA Heat recovery for hot water heating and change dairy shed lighting.
KJ & ES Maier QLD Fitting a variable speed drive to vacuum pump, and heat recovery hot water system units, to reduce energy consumption at milking.
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