Brooklyn Dairy Pty Ltd is owned by Chris and Renee Wilson and managed by Chris’s brother Nick Wilson. Chris and Renee bought an existing dairy farm in close proximity to Chris’ parents Tony and Jill who run a robotic dairy farm at The Risk near Kyogle in northern NSW. Chris & Nick’s uncle and aunty, Paul and Wendy Wilson, also operate a dairy farm at The Risk.
The Wilsons have a proud heritage in dairying going back to 1869, to Tony’s great-great grandparents, John and Mary Wilson. John was a baker in Scotland before they migrated to Australia and selected land for a dairy at The Risk. Thus, Chris and Nick are the sixth generation to dairy at The Risk.
Nick has had quite a lot of dairying experience, not only on his parents’ farm but also on Duncans’ robotic dairy at Gatton. Nick has been responsible for improving the pastures on the 400 acre property; refencing most of the property and virtually building a new 12 a-side swing-over dairy. There are about 100 acres of good flats which is predominantly kikuyu pastures and they have a good water licence so that all the milking area can be irrigated with a traveller.
They started supplying milk in July 2017 as the 40 heifers and 30 Friesian and Friesian cross cows calved. The aim is to build a herd of about 100 good cows using top AI sires and use the hilly inaccessible country to run a small beef herd.
A major challenge for Nick has been to project manage the building of the new dairy and to also calve down so many heifers at once. Interestingly some of the heifers came from his father’s robotic dairy when the dairy was not completed in time and these have been a bit painful to settle into the herringbone dairy.
The attraction of owning and operating your own farm has been: