Apostle Whey Cheese visitors are welcome to taste-test the cheeses, watch a video on the factory’s cheese production, see cheese-making in progress, view cows being milked, and pet new calves.
City kids and even grown-ups don’t often get the chance to enjoy the rural countryside, pet a new-born calf, watch cows being milked, and see that rich milk turned into sensational tasting cheeses. These experiences and more are all free at the award-winning Apostle Whey farm.
Julian and Dianne Benson love to welcome people from all walks of life onto their property, which has won awards for their environmentally sustainable approach to agriculture.
“Every year we’re exposing 30,000 to 40,000 people to farming, and it builds that bridge between country and city folk,” said Julian, who grew up as a Melbourne city-slicker but had his heart set on farming from the age of eight.
Dianne, grew up on a dairy farm, and she and Julian raised their three children on the L’Lubatol Farm, which they have owned and operated for 28 years.
The Bensons are passionate about the environment and together they have transformed the farm. 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 treed, which provides vital shelter for the comfort of the herd of 250 Friesian and Jersey cows.
Julian said the green belts rewarded them with better pastures, higher milk yields, and a growing population of native birds and animals attracted to the new trees and shrubs. “The birds take care of the pests, almost eradicating the need to use insecticides,” Julian said.
Effluent from the dairy is sprayed onto the pastures which minimises the need for commercial fertilisers.
“It’s such a dynamic environment here – I believe in working with the environment, not against it,” Julian said.
Friesians and Jerseys are chosen for the higher butter fat and protein content in their milk, which is vital for quality cheese production.
Farm Winner: 2007 Weekly Times Farm Business Awards – The RAS Alternative Farming Producer of the Year.
We’re open 10am – 5pm
7 days a week
(closed Christmas day)