Lion announces 2017 Dairy Farmer of the Year
9 May 2018: Lion’s Dairy Farmer of the Year Vic Rodwell says he was “born to do this”, referring to his life as a dairy farmer.
Vic is a second generation farmer who had to come home to the family farm as a teenager when his father became too ill to run the business. “I was 15 and milking 40 cows a day,” Vic said. “I am 48 now, and at our peak we have 800 cows.”
With wife Denise, Vic runs Rodwell Farms at Boyanup in WA. Over three decades their farm has grown, but Vic said this was not so much about building the business as it was about finding the right balance.
Rodwell Farms became a Lion Dairy Supplier three years ago. What attracted him to Lion, Vic said, was that he and Denise really value business relationships. “Price is important, but it is not all about price, it is about the people and the business that we want to become.”
Vic was named Lion’s Dairy Farmer of the Year for 2017 at the annual Lion Supplier Recognition Dinner Australia in Sydney.
“To be recognised at this level was really great,” Vic said of last week’s award that recognised his achievements as one of Lion Dairy & Drinks’ 400-plus dairy suppliers across the country. “Denise and I were surprised, but delighted.”
Murray Jeffrey, Lion Dairy & Drinks’ Agricultural Procurement Director, said Rodwell Farms was a deserving winner.
“They supply over five million litres to Lion Dairy & Drinks and not only is their milk of exceptional quality, it is also produced with a very flat supply curve which really suits Lion Dairy & Drinks’ requirements to supply our customers with high quality dairy products across the year,” Murray said.
“Lion has also been able to partner with Rodwell Farms in practical ways as well, an example was their participation in the Dairy Pride Milk Cooling Scheme which has resulted in improvements to their milk cooling system.”
Murray said Rodwell Farms was an exceptionally well-run and progressive dairy operation and a pleasure to partner with.
“They are very worthy recipients of the 2017 Lion Dairy Farmer of the Year award,” he said.
Drive by their Boyanup property – about 195 km south of Perth - and it is immaculate. They take pride in what they do and are focused on also developing opportunities for their four sons: Camden (12), Jordan (15), Dylan (16) and Lachlan (18) should they decide to join the family business.
Vic said succession planning started about five years ago and now that their four sons are older, Denise has been able to become more involved in the running the farm. Eldest son Lachlan has also recently joined the business full-time.
“We also have three full-time staff and two part-time,” Vic said. “Denise and I are committed to finding the right balance; for us, for our kids and the farm.”
“If you don’t have that (balance) it is hard to attract young people into agriculture. A lot of kids won’t come into it if they don’t get time off.”
For Further Information, please contact:
External Relations Manager, Lion Dairy & Drinks
Tel: +61 3 9188 6177
Mob: +61 419 255 118
Lion Dairy & Drinks forms part of Lion a leading beverage and food company with a portfolio that includes many of our region’s favourite brands.
We employ approx. 6,700 people across Australia and New Zealand predominantly and take great pride in our local manufacturing footprint, which spans 34 sites – including dairy farms, milk, cheese, yoghurt and juice sites.
Lion is a company focused on long-term, sustainable growth. We have a clear 10 year strategy to transform our dairy and juice businesses and champion the nutritional credentials of our portfolio; and build our presence in high-value categories in targeted Asian markets. To achieve this we invest in our core strategic assets – our people, brands, production facilities and supply chain.