Artisan dairy product producer Cressida Cains has won the 2020 New South Wales' Rural Women's Award for her innovation and passion to help others in the industry.
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Ms Cains says she wants to help farmers transform their businesses by creating their own uniquely branded products.(Supplied: NSW Department Of Primary Industries)

The Southern Highlands sheep dairy farmer founded Pecora Dairy alongside her husband Michael, and their two sons.

While Ms Cains’ effort on the farm was noteworthy, it’s the work behind the computer-screen that’s been recognised.

She’s developed an online platform and support hub called Dairy Cocoon, which is about assisting farmers to create and produce their own distinctively branded products.

“I [want to] help remove the hurdles for small Australian dairy farmers so they can transform their farms and create their own unique brands and in turn giving them a profitable and secure future,” Ms Cains said.

How the platform works

Dairy Cocoon is an online community fostering industry connections and support, while also including business tools, information and education.

It will enable farmers to write their own business plans with advice from their peers about profit and loss and sales and marketing.

There will also be access to tailored training and education, including online courses and webinars, and provide farmers access to industry experts and mentors.

Ms Cains said she hopes Dairy Cocoon will help farmers get a result for their efforts, as in recent years a significant number of small-scale dairy farmers had closed their gates because they weren’t making a profit under the current milk sales model.

“I want to help small dairy farmers break the shackles of being a price taker and for them to start seeing the profits for all their years of hard work,” she said.

More rural women recognised

Small-scale beef farmer and agricultural contracting partner, Tammy Galvin, was also acknowledged at the awards for her endeavour to bring women community leaders together.

Ms Galvin, who is also a Narrandera Shire councillor, has established the Riverina Women’s Connect Network.

The network is about getting women, businesses and services together through face-to-face networking events, a website and business directory, and online forums.

Ms Galvin said she hopes it will cultivate more leadership opportunities, social connectivity and stimulate the regional economy.

“We have only just scraped the surface when it comes to uncovering and showcasing the skills and business talents of women in the Riverina,” she said.

A former Fonterra consultant and a molecular biologist have teamed up to create lab-grown milk proteins without the need for a cow.

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