Introducing John Beesley. John is working hard to make a difference in his own small way. His story whilst unique, is one of a growing number popping up across Australia. John is fairly modest in his blog here, but you can read more about him on his own blog, Lantana Land
Thanks Fleur; I’m not sure I qualify for your farmer blog, I fall into the hobby farmer category more than the real farmer, but here goes:
1. Summary of your family and farming enterprise
I have a ten acre block of mostly Lantana (noxious weed in Qld) where I run some dairy cattle.
I hand milk and make my own raw milk cheese. At the moment that is done for free for mates while I slowly fence and clear Lantana-Land!
The ultimate goal is to turn it into a cooking school on steroids, where you can learn the way and where of primary produce and why fresh is best before cooking simple food that tastes great.
I have a wife Vanessa, an epidemiologist cancer researcher and a newborn son Curtis.
Lantana-land is also intended as bit of a legacy for him, as I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking that vegetables comes from an aisle in a supermarket and milk comes in a plastic container.
2. Why I farm
The best thing is without doubt the fresh raw milk and cheese. So creamy!
3. What do you foresee as the biggest short term and long term challenges in farming?
My biggest challenge is infrastructure and the money it costs. I shudder to think what fencing, real fencing costs on a large farm.
Long term the challenge will to be to build a sustainable business out of the farm.
5. What do you wish non-farmers / city people & the Australian Government ?understood about farming?
Well, working in Brisbane I think I am a city person! But the disconnect between what farmers grow and get paid and what the big two get on the supermarket shelf is amazing.
The government really needs to do something to allow competition to grow, so that farmers can go back to growing the best food, not the cheapest.
John Beesley – aka @Beeso
John is Farmer story No. 5 in my commitment to feature 52 farming stories for the Australian Year of the Farmer.