Tractor marathon spreads dairy message
IF YOU see a tractor motoring up the Bruce Hwy, give it a wave.
Affectionately known as Farmer Gregie, one dairy farmer is on the road to raise awareness of the plight within the milk industry, end $1 milk sales across the country, and keep farmers on the land producing top quality milk - and he is travelling through the Bundaberg region.
Farmer Greg Dennis started his journey from his property on the Scenic Rim and plans to venture north to the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, and stopped in at the Cornetts IGA at Gin Gin on Tuesday.
Mr Dennis said the fate of the milk industry in Queensland was in the hands of consumers.
"I'm on a marathon journey up the east coast. As farmers we need the consumer to be aware the price wars over milk are killing dairy farms around the country," he said.
"Farmers are leaving their farms in droves.
"We want to continue to produce milk for the consumers and we as farmers need to be rewarded at the right price.
"Dairy farming is a business, we have to remain profitable or we can't stay in business."
Although his tractor's average speed on the Bruce Hwy is 35kmh, most motorists have been supportive of Mr Dennis. Only a limited few have been upset about being held up.
"I try to stick to the side of the road and the shoulders to allow motorists to overtake," he said.
At each stop locals have come out and encouraged the farmer and his support crew to continue the journey.
"Friendly waves and toots of the horn as motorists pass is encouraging for us," Mr Dennis said.
"We stopped in at Gin Gin because we know they stock our milk.
"Just like farming, we need to support the independent retailers. We are keeping the conversation going to see an end to the $1 milk forever."
The 4Real Milk processing factory was built on the Dennis family farm in the Scenic Rim in June 2013 to give consumers fresh, pasteurised only milk.
Their goal also included paying dairy farmers a fair farm gate price for their product.
Mr Dennis said his factory was focusing on our "point of difference" in the marketplace and was offering full cream pasteurised only milk, Cream on Top.
The Scenic Rim farm has been in the Dennis family since the 1930s.
"You can show your support by going to our Facebook page 4Real Milk," he said.