Today Jade and Craig Whatman were guests. They are 5th and 4th generational dairy farmers respectfully and owners of Mayberry farm which they are trying to save from the grips of low milk prices and drought.
The Whatman’s have 170 years history dairy farming in the highlands. They represent a generational transition that has seen the number of dairy’s drop from 263 to 8 over the past century or so. They have significant cultural and production heritage invested in their endeavors.
It was sad to hear of their plight. How deregulation and changing climates have resulted in serious deficiencies between farm income and expenses but at the same time exciting to hear their story and their plans to manage their challenge.
They have big plans for the future. Not only do they want to save Mayberry but contribute to other farmers in the district. They’re thinking beyond that to change.org solutions to the wider agricultural issues facing the nation.
Today’s conversation is a great example of wider, world issues playing out in the highlands. Our ability to adapt and build sustainable futures is a problem for all of us not just the Whatman’s. They are feeling the pinch now, how long before we all take responsibility, and as a society, begin the conversation about transforming our cultures to embed sustainability and resilience.