FLYING the flag for South Gippsland at the Weekly Times Coles 2015 ‘Farmer of the Year’ awards recently, at a glittering ceremony at Crown Casino, were the Bena family dairy farmers; Toby, Lyn and Nick Leppin.
And they walked away with one of the most coveted awards on the night, The Weekly Times Coles 2015 Dairy Farmer of the Year award.
As sector winners, this also made them a finalist in the overall award eventually taken out by innovative crop farmers, Grant and Naomi Sims from Pine Grove in Victoria’s north who won $10,000 cash and also The Weekly Times Coles 2015 Farmer of the Year award
The Bena couple, who with their son Nick, milk 400 Aussie Red cows on their local dairy farm, were featured in a Weekly Times article earlier in the year, focusing on their meticulous efforts to collect all relevant data from their operation to maximise milk production, pasture growth and animal health.
Speaking at the awards night a fortnight ago, Mr Leppin said he was delighted to receive the award on behalf of his family.
“It’s quite a surprise and it’s actually a bit of an honour. It’s nice to be recognised for what you’ve done for a long, long time,” Toby said.
“It has been one of my goals to promote dairy farming and to encourage young people into the industry. Our son is taking over the farm. It’s not without stress but it’s worth the effort.
“I’d like to encourage all the young farmers here, nominated for the awards, to keep doing what they are doing.”