Murray Region stories

Cohuna’s LEGENDAIRY farmers celebrate their Capital title. 

Cohuna’s link with dairy farming has always been a two-way street.

If something needs doing in the town, farmers are there to help. On the other hand, if farmers need help, the community is there to lend support.

This community spirit and connectedness has earned Cohuna the title of 2017 LEGENDAIRY Capital of the Murray Region and one of the driving forces behind the success, Cr Lorraine Learmonth, says it’s totally justified.

“We’re a strong dairying area and dairy farmers need a bit of a lift,” Lorraine said.

Droughts, flood, low prices and water issues have made it hard for the dairy industry over the past decade, but the community’s resilience has never faltered. LEGENDAIRY Capital was a great opportunity to promote dairy in the area and to encourage young dairy farmers,” Lorraine said.

Dairy Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital program asked people in dairy towns across Australia to nominate their town to be the LEGENDAIRY Capital of their dairy region.

The nomination was lodged by the Cohuna Progress Association and highlights the town’s response when farmers were faced with the challenges of reduced milk prices last year.

The response from the community was overwhelming, several groups hosted mental health first aid sessions for farmers; church groups held regular men’s breakfasts, the motorbike group’s annual toy run with Neighbourhood House donated more than 300 hampers to dairy farmers, and a free dinner and comedy night was staged as part of a community leadership program.

While the community rallied to support farmers, farmers continue to play their part, not only as a major economic driver but as part of the fabric of society.

“It’s a two-way street.” Lorraine said. “Dairy farmers are on most of our committees and dairy farmers really support our community. 

“People are happy to get Cohuna’s name out there, and we hope it encourages our dairy farmers and attracts more visitors to the area,” Lorraine said.

A retired dairy farmer and Gannawarra Shire councillor, Lorraine still cherishes the great lifestyle of farming.

“I loved the freedom of being outside and working with animals. I still have the urge to jump the fence and hug somebody’s cow.”

Cohuna is one of eight 2017 LEGENDAIRY Capitals from around the country’s eight dairy regions and will use its $2,500 to produce a mural that depicts the town’s dairying heritage in the community meeting area, The Walkway.

In September, one of the Capital finalists will be announced as Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital for 2017 and receive an additional $7,500 to put towards its community project.

Stanhope residents urge dairy towns to nominate now!

Stanhope residents urge dairy towns to nominate now! 

Nominations now open for Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital 2017 

“I remember the day it was announced, the community, young and old, came together for a photo down at the school. The whole town was ecstatic and I thought – well it doesn’t get any better than this” Andrew Hipwell, Stanhope.

Dairy farmers across Australia are proud, resilient and innovative. In short, they’re LEGENDAIRY.

With the search on again for Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital 2017, Dairy Australia is encouraging those interested in nominating their town to reflect on the program’s inaugural title holder: Stanhope. 

This small town in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, with a population of just under 500, used the program’s funding to build a playground next to the football oval and netball courts for the whole community to enjoy. 

“Stanhope’s submission perfectly captured the spirit of the town and the contribution dairy farmers make to the social fabric of the community,” said Dairy Australia regional manager, Jenny Wilson. 

“Dairy is the backbone of Stanhope and since their nomination, the community has made the most of its LEGENDAIRY status including erecting a number of LEGENDAIRY Capital signs on the outskirts of town, and creating a LEGENDAIRY Capital postmark for letters being sent from Stanhope to destinations all over the world,” Ms Wilson said. 

Stanhope nominator Andrew Hipwell said being a part of the LEGENDAIRY Capital program was a truly unifying experience for Stanhope.

“We’re a very proud community here in Stanhope. We all worked together to get our nomination in and we celebrated together when the town was announced as the 2015 LEGENDAIRY Capital of Australia,” Mr Hipwell said. “Receiving the inaugural title was a fantastic achievement for us all. I encourage everyone across the country’s dairying regions to nominate their town in 2017. It really is a fantastic program.”  
 
Dairy Australia is calling on people across Australia’s eight dairy regions - Gippsland, south west Victoria, the Murray region, Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Subtropical region - to nominate their town for the prestigious title by sharing stories about what makes their town LEGENDAIRY.

One finalist from each of the eight regions will receive $2,500 to invest in a community project, and one of those towns will then go on to secure the coveted title of Australia's LEGENDAIRY Capital 2017, receiving an additional grant of $7,500. 

Nominations are open until 5pm on April 10, 2017. For more information on Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital program, including details on how to nominate, visit www.legendairy.com.au/capital


Is your town the next LEGENDAIRY Capital of the Murray Dairy region?

Is your town the next LEGENDAIRY Capital of the Murray Dairy region?

The Murray Dairy region accounts for almost one quarter of Australia’s dairy production, with many small regional towns built on dairy.

That’s why Dairy Australia is calling on people across the Murray Dairy region to nominate their town as the next LEGENDAIRY Capital by sharing their stories and highlighting the way their town embodies the LEGENDAIRY spirit.

Launched in 2015, Dairy Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital program celebrates regional communities around the country by highlighting how dairy farmers contribute to their town, their industry and the Australian economy.

Dairy Australia program manager, Suzi O’Dell, said the program recognises the strength and resilience of hard-working communities and the vital role dairy farmers play in building the social fabric of their towns. 

“Dairy farmers - and people working across the dairy supply chain – are at the heart of hundreds of Australian regional communities,” Ms O’Dell said. 

“In 2015, Stanhope, in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, was named the LEGENDAIRY Capital of the Murray Dairy region and the inaugural LEGENDAIRY Capital of Australia. Now we’re back on the road looking for the next Capital of the Murray Dairy region which could also become the overall LEGENDAIRY Capital of Australia for 2017.”

Locals from each of Australia’s eight dairy regions in Gippsland, south west Victoria, the Murray region, Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Subtropical region are encouraged to nominate their town for the prestigious title by sharing stories about what makes their town LEGENDAIRY.

One finalist from each of the eight regions will receive $2,500 to invest in a community project and one of those towns will then go on to secure the coveted title of Australia's LEGENDAIRY Capital 2017, receiving an additional grant of $7,500 to put towards their community project. 

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), a not-for-profit organisation working towards enabling communities to build their social capital and economic resilience, is supporting Dairy Australia on this program. 

Natalie Egleton, Chief Executive of FRRR said: “Every day, farmers juggle the demands of their operations with the needs of the local community. The LEGENDAIRY Capital program celebrates this commitment by pulling together as one, and finding ways to build robust communities that will endure and prosper.

“FRRR is pleased to be able to support Dairy Australia in this important initiative,” said Ms Egleton.

Nominations are open until 5pm on April 10, 2017. 


Stanhope community event recognises prestigious national title

Stanhope community event recognises prestigious national title

Stanhope, Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital for 2015, today hosted an event of LEGENDAIRY proportions with more than 200 community members gathering to celebrate the town’s success in being awarded the coveted title.

In a tremendous display of community spirit, the Stanhope Recreation Reserve came alive with a range of activities - from student performances to sporting games - while local community groups cooked a BBQ lunch, celebrating the spirit of the town and the contribution dairy makes locally.

The event followed the announcement of Stanhope as Australia’s LEGENDAIRY Capital in September as part of Dairy Australia’s inaugural search for the nation’s most vibrant and resilient dairying communities.

Dairy Australia’s Managing Director, Ian Halliday, said he was delighted to see the Stanhope community come together to celebrate its LEGENDAIRY Capital title win. 

“Today marks the end of a long search for this year’s Australian LEGENDAIRY Capital, and what better way to mark the occasion than to see approximately half of the town’s 490 residents join in the celebrations,” he said. 

“We’ve been amazed by the people of Stanhope and how they’ve embraced their new title and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase the integral role dairy farmer’s play in communities like these.

“Stanhope is one of many Australian regional towns with a strong vision, and incredible determination and resilience, where the community and dairy industry continue to work together to enable the town to grow and prosper,” he added.

As the LEGENDAIRY Capital of Australia for 2015, Stanhope received a $10,000 community grant to build a playground at the Stanhope Recreation Reserve. 

Since receiving the grant, the Stanhope community has rallied together to have the playground built in time for residents and guests to view at the event. The new playground will be a safe, centralised hub for families to gather while they attend local sporting events.

Dairy Australia will start the search for Australia’s next LEGENDAIRY Capital again in 2017 and will be encouraging towns in dairy regions across the country to nominate.

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