Dairy

Family retires from dairy farming

By Rodney Woods

The decision to do other things outside farming was the reason for the Baker family, of Katunga, selling its farm and Jersey cattle.

Across 55 years in the industry, the Bakers, who ran Glenarron Farms, have supplied milk to Murray Goulburn, Bega and ACM, and Ron Baker said the issues that concerned him most related to water and milk prices.

‘‘The selling of water off the farm was a disgrace and you can’t run a business with that payment the milk factories made to farmers,’’ he said.

‘‘More water is going to the environment than it should. Irrigation agriculture doesn’t get enough.

‘‘It all comes down to allocations.

‘‘What ruins farmers is people have too much of a say in financial matters of irrigators,’’ he said.

Mr Baker, who grew up in Footscray, always enjoyed the farming life.

‘‘When in Footscray, I would holiday on farms on the Peninsula, Werribee and Merrigum, where I worked for a polio victim who lent us money to buy a farm.’’

With the industry in decline, Mr Baker urged processors to take more interest in suppliers’ financial matters.

‘‘We need milk factories to show more financial interest in dairy farming,’’ he said.

And despite all the issues the industry is facing, Mr Baker said he would miss the good times.

‘‘I’ll miss farming,’’ he said.

‘‘That’s been my life — to get out of bed and get going.’’