Warren Gallagher is a third generation Norco dairy farmer and still lives in the family home on the farm that his Grandfather Jack started. Warren’s grandfather, John James Gallagher who was known as “Jack” purchased the property on 6th March 1907. The name of the property is ‘Moyola’ and as with so many property names they are steeped in history. Hugh Stewart who was Warren’s Great Grandfather was visiting his daughter Elizabeth, Warren’s grandmother and when he looking down on Benny’s Creek he remarked that the view reminded him of the Moyola River in Northern Ireland. Apparently he turned to Elizabeth and said “you must call the farm Moyola”. The name remains and is now known as Moyola Illawarra Cattle Stud. The farm-house was in fact built in 1896 one year after Norco Co-operative commenced the creamery at Byron Bay in 1895.
Warren remembers his Dad Hugh and his Uncle Fred working the dairy farm, supplying milk to Norco; he said “I admit to being a little lazy as a kid but I always knew that I would be a dairy farmer, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life”. Warren’s Uncle Fred passed away in 1983 and from 1990 when he left school Warren was working with his Dad in the dairy; the third generation of Gallagher dairying began when Hugh retired in 1999.
Warren, his partner Megan MacKenzie and their two Children, Reece & Caitlin plus Zeus -their Blue/Red X Cattle dog live on 286 acres of lush green pastures and rolling hills; 220 being usable paddocks and 140 acres irrigated from Benny’s creek are scattered with mainly Illawarra cattle. Commanding an almost 360deg view from the top, it’s no wonder that Warren doesn’t feel the need to move too far from home. The fact that he runs the dairy for the most part on his own, milking approx 180 head, twice a day plus maintaining the farm is another reason he spends much of his time ‘On Top of the World’ at Moyola.
Warren appreciates whatever time his Dad gives him on the farm whether it is at milking time, spraying paddocks or maintaining fence lines, “Dad runs his own race, he and Mum love spending time caravaning around the country side, which is the way it should be” said Warren. Megan handles all the calves and they share the transportation for the after school sports activities that Reece and Caitlin are involved in
What does the future hold for Moyola? “I feel very fortunate to have been born into my farming family and I’m sure that our children appreciate and honour their heritage and hope one day they have the same passion that I have for running the dairy. Our farm has evolved over the years and as I’m not a big talker, I’ve been happy running the dairy over the past 16 years primarily on my own with a little help from Dad”.
Warren is quick to say that he is very happy to be a Norco milk supplier, knowing that he has access to a wide range of resources if needed and a stable farm gate price per litre for his milk.