The Benson family’s farm, L’Lubatol, has undergone major changes over the past 30 years. Most notably, the 367 acres was originally 15 paddocks, but is now subdivided into 53 milking paddocks of about 5 acres and a further 10 paddocks of smaller size for calf rearing.
Every second fence line is now treed, which provides vital shelter and comfort of the herd of 250 cows. The original herd was made up of Fresians cows, but the family has since crossbred Aussie Reds with Jerseys for higher butterfat and protein levels.
The milk is piped straight from the rotary dairy to the adjacent boutique cheese factory where the Apostle Whey Cheeses are hand made.
Julian and Dianne Benson love talking about farming and cheesemaking to people from all walks of life. While Dianne grew up on a dairy farm, Julian was raised in Melbourne but developed a passion for life on the land at the age of eight.
He said he took great joy in transforming the property into a sustainable farming operation where the health and wellbeing of the cows was now translating into amazing milk quality from which to make their award-winning cheeses.
“It’s such a dynamic environment here – I believe in working with the environment, not against it,” he said.
When visiting the Apostle Whey farm you can also sample the wares, with free cheese tastings in the farm shop. The farm shop also has a menu including toasties, coffees, cheese platters and gelato. The Apostle Whey farm shop is open from 8am to 5pm every day, except Christmas day.