The History of Bream Creek Dairy
Bream Creek Dairy is Stroud Dairies, home to three generations of the Bignell Family.
John Bignell was twenty in 1958 when he bought seventy acres at Bream Creek on Tasmania’s beautiful South-East coast. On that pocket of land he nurtured and milked twelve cows. He sold his milk to Baker’s Milk in Lenah Valley, Hobart.
In that first year, he milked his cows in a leaky old shed which was soon condemned, forcing John to build a new dairy. Along with that he bought more parcels of land in the district until he and his wife Kay had acquired ten small farms and added them to the Stroud Dairy landholdings.
John and Kay raised their children Charles, Richard and Sarah on the fresh air and fresh millk of Bream Creek. Richard and Charles worked on the farm from a young age, bringing in the cows for milking when they were little boys. By the time they’d finished their education, and with the addition of a mechanical engineering apprenticeship for Charles and an overseas agricultural exchange for Richard, they were well equipped to work alongside John and eventually take over the reigns.
When John passed the operation on to his sons some thirty years ago, John’s skilled management and precise breeding program had seen the dairy herd increase from twelve to three hundred.
In 2008, Richard and Charles undertook a series of measures to drought proof the farm in the face of changing weather patterns. These include the construction of a 2,5000 megalitre dam and numerous centre pivot irrigators.
2009 saw the development of a brand new 60-head rotary dairy which aligned with advances in millking technology and current efficiencies. 2009 was also the year that John and Kay welcomed their youngest grandchild, the sixth to join the family farm.
Today, Stroud Dairies incorporates two thousand acres of land in Bream Creek and Copping, a milking herd of eight hundred beautiful Friesian cows, their offspring, their handsome bulls, fifty years of skilled, careful breeding and countless, countless hours of hard work.
The farm supports three families as well as eight farm employees from surrounding districts.
Bream Creek Dairy is proud to be an active contributor to many local events and activities including the famous Bream Creek Show, the Bream Creek Farmer’s Market and the Falls Festival.
The farm also supplies milk to other small artisan dairy operations and businesses, including Coal River Farm, Bruny Island Cheese and Hobart Milk, thereby wholeheartedly supporting local innovation and enterprise.
And now, the Dairy by the Sea offers you their own fresh milk and four varieties of artisan cheese, direct from us to you.
We sincerely hope you like it!
John & Kay
Charles & Caroline, Jack, Douglas and Annie
Richard & Meg, Ed, Bess and Lucie