Luke Stock is a dairy farmer in the Lockyer Valley. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP
Luke Stock is a dairy farmer in the Lockyer Valley. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP

Family dairy farm down to the last drop

DESPITE how tough it has been to farm through the past couple of years of drought, Gatton dairy farmer Luke Stock loves his family farm lifestyle.

Mr Stock is a third-generation farmer and lives on the family's 70ha farm in the Lockyer Valley with his parents, wife and four children.

He said he hoped his kids would continue the farm's legacy after the number of Queensland dairies had crashed.

"In 2011 there were 1100 dairy farms in Queensland. Today we're down to 370-odd farms," Mr Stock said.

"It's tragic because when you lose a farm, you're losing generations of knowledge."

The drought has had a negative effect on everyone from farmers to suppliers and local businesses.

"Because of the drought, the grain we feed our cattle has gone up in price by 45 per cent and hay has gone up by 50 per cent," Mr Stock said.

"I don't blame the hay farmers, it's a flow-on effect.

Luke Stock is a dairy farmer in the Lockyer Valley. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP
Luke Stock is a dairy farmer in the Lockyer Valley. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP

"And, at the end of the day, if we don't have extra money we don't have money to spend in town."

More than anything, Mr Stock wants people to be more aware of how the choices they make in the supermarket effect people like him and those producing the food they buy.

"It's really easy to go into the supermarket, buy a bottle of milk and have no understanding of what goes into it," he said.

"What we (farmers) want is as simple as a moral understanding."

Mr Stock said he hoped people would understand the challenges primary producers faced.

To help address these and other issues facing Aussie farmers, The Courier-Mail, together with major News Corp Australia mastheads in NSW and Victoria, launched the Adopt a Farmer campaign last week, which aims to raise $800,000.

Visit adoptafarmer.com.au for more details and to donate.

 

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