Buffalo cheese; an addiction I'm happy to own up to
Agri-Phoenix Feature: Georgina Humphries
Name: Georgina Humphries
Place: Millaa Millaa
When people think of tropical Far North Queensland, buffalo are probably not the first creature that comes to mind. But for me, these two are inextricable. I am lucky enough to have been raised on fresh buffalo milk products and have sampled more versions of gourmet buffalo mozzarella, ice-cream and ricotta than most celebrity chefs.
My Dad switched from growing cotton to growing dairy cows before I was born. He then did a cheese making course and discovered his life’s passion - farming buffalo for their milk.
Fortunately the lush rolling hillsides near Millaa Millaa on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands are a pretty idyllic place for buffalo. So my childhood was spent on one of Australia’s first ever buffalo dairy farms. Their milk is turned into produce for cafes, delis and restaurants nationwide. And I got to show Curtis Stone how not to be scared to sit on a buffalo.
Growing up in a rural town known for its rich dairy farming history, the love of livestock and land was embedded into us from an early age. In Millaa Millaa’s main street a sign proclaims “If you have to drink and drive – drink milk and stay alive!”
At school agriculture was embraced as part of the curriculum, with agriculture classes offered in high school. A strong focus was placed on sustainable agriculture practices.
I strongly believe such practically orientated education is critical for the next generation of young adults working in the agriculture sector. It is also very important for kids attending school in the city and suburban areas - the current and future consumers of our products.
‘Paddock to plate’, the sustainable food chain linking growers and eaters will ensure farmers are able to keep providing the top-quality Australian products they have been supplying for centuries. It's time we put some serious attention and investment into buffing up support for the next generations, who are becoming the future of agriculture.