Cohuna’s link with dairyfarming has always been a two-way street.
If something needs doing in the town, farmers are there to help. On the other hand, if farmers need help, the community is there to lend support.
This community spirit and connectedness has earned Cohuna the title of 2017 Legendairy Capital of the Murray Region and one of the driving forces behind the success, Cr Lorraine Learmonth, said it was totally justified.
“We’re a strong dairying area and dairyfarmers need a bit of a lift,” Ms Learmonth said.
Droughts, flood, low prices and water issues have made it hard for the dairy industry in the past decade, but the community’s resilience has never faltered. Legendairy Capital was a great opportunity to promote dairy in the area and to encourage young dairy farmers,” she said.
Dairy Australia’s Legendairy Capital program asked people in dairy towns across Australia to nominate their town to be the Legendairy Capital of their dairy region.
The nomination was lodged by the Cohuna Progress Association and highlights the town’s response when farmers were faced with the challenges of reduced milk prices last year.
The response from the community was overwhelming, several groups hosted mental health first aid sessions for farmers; church groups held regular men’s breakfasts, the motorbike group’s annual toy run with Neighbourhood House donated more than 300 hampers to dairyfarmers, and a free dinner and comedy night was staged as part of a community leadership program.
While the community rallied to support farmers, farmers continue to play their part, not only as a major economic driver but as part of the fabric of society.
“It’s a two-way street,” Ms Learmonth said. “Dairyfarmers are on most of our committees and dairyfarmers really support our community.
“People are happy to get Cohuna’s name out there, and we hope it encourages our dairyfarmers and attracts more visitors to the area."
A retired dairyfarmer and Gannawarra Shire councillor, Lorraine still cherishes the great lifestyle of farming.
“I loved the freedom of being outside and working with animals," she said. "I still have the urge to jump the fence and hug somebody’s cow.”
Cohuna is one of eight 2017 Legendairy Capitals from around the country’s eight dairy regions and will use its $2500 to produce a mural that depicts the town’s dairying heritage in the community meeting area, The Walkway.
In September, one of the Capital finalists will be announced as Australia’s Legendairy Capital for 2017 and receive an additional $7500 to put towards its community project.
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