Dairying

In addition to the ”standard” approach to producing milk to meet all domestic requirements for those living and working on the property, there are three phases of achievement that provide Camden Park with an important role in the development of the Australian milk industry.  

Early records indicate that from the early 1820’s Camden Park was at the forefront of breeding dairy cows and developing a herd in size and quality to supply external parties. From the early 1830’s butter sales became a growing business.

The second noteworthy phase commenced in the 1890’s and was led by John’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow, and was marked by innovation, growth and quality control. Elizabeth established a series of dairies operated by share farmers. By the mid 1890’s there were 14 share farms milking a total of 900 to 1,000 cows.  The growth in milk production was supported by the construction and operation of creameries and investments in refrigeration and in the opening of a butter factory. Throughout the early 1900’s Camden Park and associated entities and co-operatives played a central role in the supply of milk to the Sydney market. Central to the success in the milk business was the commitment to milk quality and herd hygiene. From the mid 1920’s Camden Park opened a series of “Model Dairies” the term reflecting the commitment to quality and best practice. In 1924 Camden Park’s dairy herds became the first herds in NSW to be certified tuberculosis free. Camden Park continued to be a leader in dairy innovation in Australia with the introduction of artificial insemination during the 1940’s.  

A third phase in the contribution of Camden Park to the development of the dairy industry was marked by the opening of the Rotolactor in 1952. The Rotolactor was the first large scale rotary dairy to be built and operated in Australia. The Rotolactor marked a different approach to large scale milk production with cows being fed prepared rations rather than grazing to meet their feed requirements.

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