For more than 50 years, Waaia farmer Dick Maloney has enjoyed working with Jersey cows.
The oldest member of the Goulburn Murray Jersey Breeders Club, Mr Maloney, 88, is in semi-retirement but still attends club meetings and takes an interest in farming.
Never one for showing in the ring, Mr Maloney said one of the best developments in Jersey breeding was the advent of on-farm competitions, where the judges visited the cattle on the property and were able to form an opinion based on how the cow looked in a working environment.
Mr Maloney’s family started dairying at Korumburra in Gippsland, ‘‘but the wind and rain chased us out of there’’.
‘‘There was nothing between us and the sea and when the wind blew, she really blew.’’
The family’s Yenolam Jersey Stud was established in 1965 and after the family moved to northern Victoria, Mr Maloney joined the Goulburn Murray Jersey Breeders Club.
The club brought together farmers to discuss issues of mutual interest and also provided a social aspect for farming families.
Mr Maloney has appreciated the even temperament of Jersey cows, combined with high production and excellent fat and protein content.
He recalled one of the top Jersey cows he ever saw was a Twilight cow owned by Frank Cox from Kyabram.
‘‘She was a big cow with a lovely udder. A great cow all round.’’
Despite the rigours of milking seven days a week and with no public holidays, Mr Maloney said he enjoyed the routine, but was concerned about where the industry was headed into the future.
He believes it is much harder to earn a solid living today, than 50 years ago.
His son Neil and wife Wendy ran the farm in recent years, but the challenging conditions in the industry led to the decision to sell most of the herd and move out of dairying last year.