The Kyvalley Dairy Group has announced its first local Milk Supplier for Kiewa Country Milk, the local brand purchased by the family-owned company earlier this year.
Fourth-generation dairy farmer, Stephen Coulston, of Tangambalanga, has been confirmed as a major supplier to the iconic heritage brand, continuing a working relationship that began a century ago.
The Coulston family farm, “Glendale”, at Tangambalanga has been supplying Kiewa Country Milk for four generations.
They were original suppliers to the Kiewa Butter Factory that first started taking local milk in 1893. From these humble beginnings the Kiewa Country Milk brand evolved to become an iconic heritage brand.
Current family farm manager, Stephen Coulston, is one of many North East locals excited to be a part of the iconic milk brand’s return.
“I’ve been very impressed with their quality control”
Operations at the farm, however, have become much more technology-driven since his great grandfather’s day. Machines now milk dozens of cows at a time and mobile phones are used to operate irrigation by remote control.
According to Stephen, the primary concern for his family remains the same as it has always been.
“The health and welfare of the cows comes first, everything else fits around that,” he said.
“A happy, healthy cow will always produce more milk of a higher quality.”
The 450-head dairy herd comprises a mixture of Friesian, Jersey and Brown Swiss cows, each breed characteristic adding different components to enable a consistently high-quality milk supply.
“Farming is a big part of what we do as a family”
“Attention to detail and consistently doing the basic things well is one of the secrets to keeping a business going over generations,” Stephen said.
Stephen believes the values of the Mulcahy family, owners of Kyvalley Dairy Group align “very well” with his own.
“I’ve been very impressed with their quality control,” he said.
“They take a lot of pride in what they do”.
Stephen’s dad Fred, also known as Les, is 85 and still passionately involved with day-to-day operations on the farm.
“There aren’t many people who work as consistently hard as Dad. He just loves it and is now teaching my boys his keen eye for detail,” Stephen said.
With such good guidance, Stephen’s sons Bailey, 10, and Harrison, 9, actively take part in daily operations, even at a young age.
The boys are the fifth generation to work the farm.
“Farming is a big part of what we do as a family,” Stephen said.
“We live in some of Australia’s most beautiful country. Being out on our bikes with our cows and enjoying the Kiewa river and the riches of the changing seasons, that is Heaven to us.”