THE CWA Cobargo Branch recently nominated Tilba dairy farmers and cheese makers, Erica and Nic Dibden, for the 2012 Australian Farmer of the Year Awards.
Erica and Nic from South Coast Cheese have been nominated for the Dairy Farmer of the Year Award and Erica has been nominated for the Farming Woman of the Year Award.
“As this is the Year of the Farmer, we took the opportunity to show our gratitude to these two local farmers who have shown such a highly professional, innovative and a sustainable approach to farming,” CWA Cobargo branch president Mary Williams said.
“Both Nic and Erica have demonstrated a dedication to the dairy industry, particularly in extending their enterprise beyond the farm gate, by developing a viable cheese factory and outlet.
“Their enterprise not only attracts tourism to the local area, but employs local people.
“Their persistence and belief in their product has enhanced the local area and we are proud to nominate them both.
“They have the demonstrable skills and determination to make their enterprise a show case for the dairy industry,” Ms Williams said.
The Dibdens back at Easter took over the ABC Cheese Factory in Central Tilba and are planning to start producing hand-made cheese from their own Jersey cow milk from their nearby dairy farm at Tilba Tilba.
They have also transferred the Bodalla branch of the business into the cheese factory and plan to soon expand into different varieties of cheese as well as milk sales and cheese-making courses.
“You will be able to come and watch through the big window and viewing platform to see all the cheese-making action,” Erica said.
“Straight from the farm to you.”
The Australian Farmer of the Year Awards are hosted by the Kondinin Group, ABC Rural and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and aim to promote the importance of agriculture and gain respect for Australian farmers.
There are 11 categories of awards and the winner of each category is eligible to be named as 2012 Australian Farmer of the Year.
The awards will be presented in Melbourne on September 12.