Industry innovates against flood challenges

Farmers Paul Martin, Dallas and Carolyn Davidson, Nathan Jackson and Kay and Dave Tommerup. Photo by Josh Woning
Farmers Paul Martin, Dallas and Carolyn Davidson, Nathan Jackson and Kay and Dave Tommerup. Photo by Josh Woning.

Local farmers have banded together to create what they believe is Australia’s first sheep, camel, goat and jersey milk cheese after floods decimated local milk production earlier this year.

The cheese, dubbed Ewe+3, is a collaboration between Towri Sheep Cheeses, Tommerup’s Dairy Farm, Summer Land Camels and Naughty Little Kids.

The farmers got together with the stars of the show – the sheep, goats, camels and cows – to launch the cheese at Towri’s 300-acre agritourism property north of Beaudesert recently.

Towri was among local farms shattered by widespread floods this year.

“The floods caused absolute devastation to our business, livestock and family farm, including the collapse of our main water supply,” said Towri’s Dallas Davidson, who works with her mum Carolyn to run the sheep dairy and cheesery.

“Milk production went down 100 per cent as our dairy was completely flooded, and we were unable to deliver to our wonderful restaurant clients due to flood waters and road closures. It was pretty horrid, but we emptied our gum boots, dried out our work gear and thought about how we could keep moving forward. Then, it hit us, we simply ask our friends – two and four-legged!”

During the drought, the Davidsons collaborated with local dairy farmers Kay and Dave Tommerup from the Kerry Valley to create Moo & Ewe out of jersey and sheep milk.

“We thought – let’s take this further. We live in the glorious Scenic Rim, a region of dairies, of inspiring producers, and of truly creative partnerships born of Eat Local Week, so let’s create a collaboration cheese. To our knowledge this is an Australian first, and could very well be a world first,” Dallas said.

The Davidsons and Tommerups pooled their milk resources with milk from Summer Land Camels and Naughty Little Kids near Boonah. Carolyn used her 17 years of cheesemaking experience to strike a balance between the four kinds of milk and create the cooked natural rind cheese.

In a success story for Beaudesert, the cheese is now being served up in some of Queensland’s best restaurants, sought out by locals and visitors at local market days and there are enquiries from restaurants interstate.

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