Scholarship For Dairy Farmer Who Followed His Dream

Wednesday 04 March 2009 | From Dairy Australia

English-born Geoff Nicholson came to Australia 20 years ago with a desire to dairy… and he has been recognised with a national cheesemaking scholarship.

Geoff has been awarded one of three cheesemaker scholarships by Dairy Australia.

The award is presented annually as part of the Australian Grand Dairy Awards and offers highly sought-after tuition with Australia’s top cheesemakers.
Following a degree in Agricultural and Food Marketing from the University of Newcastle in the UK, Geoff made the decision to migrate to Australia.

Over the past 20 years Geoff has immersed himself in the Australian dairy industry, eager to support his local community and fellow farmers.

His industry representation roles have been many and varied, and include chairing the natural research management sub-committee of the Mid North Coast Diary Advancement Group.

Keen to grow and add value to his dairy business, Geoff has spent considerable time developing his theoretical knowledge of cheese making and is looking forward to supplementing this knowledge with practical cheese making skills.

The scholarship winners were announced in a ceremony at Melbourne late February. Scholarships were also presented to Geoff Nicholson of the Manning Valley, NSW and Suzanne Harnett of the Tweed Valley NSW.

The cheesemaker scholarship offers a series of part-time courses run through the National Centre for Dairy Education – Australia.

Recipients of the scholarship also receive hands-on experience and mentoring from three specialty cheese manufacturers across Australia, including National Foods, Bega Cheese, and Milawa Cheese Company.

Previous winners have gone on to establish their own boutique cheese businesses in dairy-rich areas of regional Australia. They have included Tilba Tilba cheesemaker and jersey cow fan Erica Dibden and Kate Woodward, the multi-award-winning owner/operator of Hunter Belle Cheese, at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley.

Gale McLardie, Marketing Manager Dairy Australia said: “Australia produces some of the world’s best milk – the raw material for world-beating artisan cheeses. That’s why specialty cheese is a fast-growing niche market, growing over the last decade from 15,000 tonnes/year to more than 31,000 tonnes/year.

“There are many people keen to get involved in this dynamic industry, and Dairy Australia, along with its partners, is delighted to provide these scholarships to further build the sophistication and skill of those undertakings,” she said.

ENDS

Pix available.  Media contact: : Adele Buhagiar, 9694 3894 or 0400 923 221