SMITHTON meat processor Greenham is piloting a program that will provide an extra source of income for dairy farms that use some beef genetics over their dairy cows.
The Greenham Dairy Beef Program provides a valuable alternative pathway for dairy cross calves and eligible finished cattle.
Greenham is working with several dairy farms to implement the program and is accepting expressions of interest from Tasmanian dairy farmers.
Greenham Livestock Supply Chain Manager Jessica Lough land said the company was excited to work with Tasmanian dairy businesses to build a program that was mutually beneficial and sustainable in the long-term.
“The program has been developed in partnership with key domestic and international customers who are committed to a sustainable, alternative pathway for surplus calves,” she said.
“When we look at what other countries have achieved in this space – with good quality beef genetics – we believe there is huge potential for dairy beef to support the growth of our premium programs and bolster the year-round supply of our high-quality beef in premium global markets.
“We are confident that this program has the potential to become a long-term profitable pathway for everyone along the supply chain.”
The key elements of the program are the Greenham Dairy Beef standards and an adaptation of the NEVER EVER program, developed to suit the Australian dairy industry.
Both programs adhere to the same rigorous standards requiring whole-of-life traceability, 100 per cent grass-fed and free range, MSA eligibility, and free from antibiotics, GMOs and added hormones.
“The main differences between the two programs relate to the sale and rearing of calves, which usually occurs at a younger age than conventional beef cattle.”
The program suits dairy farms of any size, however, participating dairies must use some beef genetics over their dairy cows to produce eligible calves.
The first year of the program will focus on Tasmanian dairy farms but expressions of interest are being accepted from all southern Australian states.
Program intake is expected to extend to all southern Australian states in 2022-23.
“By leveraging Greenham’s established customer networks, the Greenham Dairy Beef Program provides a valuable alternative pathway for dairy-cross calves and eligible finished cattle.”
Farmers can get involved by reading the requirements of the program to check eligibility.
“If you’re not already, become MSA accredited for free.”