Farmer ‘day in the life’ video goes viral
When young Queensland farmer Kieran Bourke produced a video showing a day in the life of a dairy farmer he didn’t expect it to make a social media splash.
But with almost 70,000 hits on Facebook and 1,000-plus on YouTube, the 19 year old Warwick farmer and University of Queensland student is pleased to see his positive messages about the industry he loves being shared far and wide.
A fourth-generation farmer, Kieran was born into dairying and plans to return to the farm after completing his Bachelor of Agribusiness and learning as much as he can about the industry through travel and his work with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Queensland.
The video was produced as part of UQ Gatton’s `thank a farmer’ week in late 2015 and complements the Legendairy communications initiative to raise the profile and reputation of Australia’s dairy industry.
“Dairy farming doesn’t start and stop with putting the milking cups on – there’s a lot more to it than that,” Kieran said.
“I thought I’d compile a video to demonstrate what we do at home and explain that if you don’t support Australian farmers now we might not be here to produce milk in the future.
“It’s got a tremendous reception; really mind-blowing.”
The family farm located close to the Gladfield Valley, near Warwick, is owned and operated by Kieran’s grandfather John, father Kevin and uncles Paul and Shane. They supply Parmalat and milk 475 Australian Illawarra shorthorns on 465 hectares, using a partially mixed-ration system with a strong focus on good quality home-grown feed.
“Grandad started milking half a dozen cows in 1969 and it’s continuously grown from there,” Kieran said. “It’s unreal what he’s achieved and for me to be able to share that recognition with him through the video was pretty special.
“The response to the video was also unreal, with people messaging me and other members of the family asking what they could do to help grow the industry,” Kieran said.
The family farm has recently topped the Queensland Dairy Accounting Scheme, a farm business management benchmarking system, and is highly regarded as a leader in genetics and breeding.
“We’re really happy with how our business is going,” Kieran said. “Having home-grown feed really helps, along with attention to detail in the dairy to minimise wastage. Cow health and husbandry is an integral part of the operation and we work really hard on nutrition and having the best conditions for our cows and calves.”
Growing up on the farm was “the best upbringing any kid could have,” according to Kieran who started working on the family farm as soon as he was old enough to hold a bucket to feed the calves.
He says the lifestyle and good family role models inspired his passion for the industry and attention to detail.
His parents wisely encouraged all four siblings to spend at least five years off the farm, urging them to get a tertiary qualification.
“The course is one of the best experiences I could have and to work with DAF just adds another component to my experience,” Kieran said.
“My long-term view is to hopefully finish next year and possibly do an honours project in farm business management or dairy market research. I’d like to travel and see different systems in different countries and then head back to the farm, with as much information as possible to live and work there.
“We’re producing a quality product and I like being able to improve genetics, business, and crops, everything about farming. There’s a lot of potential for the industry with the uptake of new technology.”
With one year of his course to finish, Kieran loves his study and his work, but he can’t wait to get home to the farm.
“I just want to get out and get my hands dirty,” Kieran said
To check out the video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo7Au7W_jcA
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