Twenty beautiful brown-eyed jersey cows that produce rich milk where the cream floats on the top are the secret behind the success of Tommerup’s Dairy Farm in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, just an hour’s drive from Brisbane. Once again, this 150-year-old farm is an award finalist, showing smart-heart farming as the way of the future.

You Can Taste The Goodness

Tommerup’s Dairy Farm is the Queensland dairy finalist in the 2024 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards for the fifth year in a row. They submitted a family favourite, their creme fraiche, but the award is not just judged on the product itself but also on the farming practices that produce it.

Kay and Dave Tommerup have put their faith in their sixth-generation 80-hectare Scenic Rim dairy farm, which has turned its back on mass production. Instead, they mix innovative farm practices with old-fashioned passion and a genuine love of the land and their animals to create a rural haven with a circle of life loved and respected every day.

Tommerups Dairy feeding calves
Tommerup Farm sign

Regenerative farming at Tommerup’s Dairy Farm

“The focus of everything we do and every experience we offer is our dairy, our farm, and our desire to build a farm business that can be taken on by our children and their children on this beautiful property that’s been farmed by Dave’s family since 1874,” said Kay who now sits on the Boards of eastAUSmilk and the Queensland Farmers Federation.

There are just 20 cows on the 200-acre property. This is a deliberate strategy to focus on quality over quantity. It also helps regenerate the farm for future generations. Kay says there is no waste on the farm thanks to the support of conscious consumers.

“It is becoming a focus with chefs. They want to be part of the whole cycle by taking vealers. This allows us to raise all our calves and not sell any as bobby calves. Instead, we focus on cream product production using our milk-fed pork for the waste skim milk product,” she said.  We are not wasting any animals. We are not wasting any product that comes from the creamery. All these animals are rotated around the farm to positively impact and repair the land.”

Tommerup Farm calf

Tommerup Dairy Farm products

What is produced at this gorgeous sixth-generation family farm? The list includes double cream, cultured butter, crème fraiche, cultured butter with red gum smoked salt, full cream natural yoghurt, cultured buttermilk, full cream natural yoghurt with bush honey and ice cream.

Tommerup Farm products
Tommerup Butter
Tommerup Farm pigs

More than just the taste

“This award means so much because not just recognition of the quality of our product, but also recognises the extra effort that goes into making a clear choice to regenerate our farm for future generations,” she said. “By building these relationships with our customers, and chefs, in particular, we can show the actual value of our product. When they use our product, they remember those connections with us, our story, our farm, and our animals. When a higher value is placed on products from farmers choosing a regenerative journey, it allows more resources to be allocated to regenerative practices and helps us continue down that path. The whole story, from raising calves right through to the end product, means something more than just the product and taste.”

Tommerup Farm Larder

Diversification is the key

Tommerup’s Farm thrives on four key strategic pillars: The Dairy, Farm Stays, Meat Sales, and Farm Experiences. Their passionate and focused approach is steering them toward a bright future. The farm stay options, The Cottage and The Homestead, both built in 1888 and rich in family history, are booked well in advance, with cancellations snapped up within hours.

“In the eyes of our guests, our farm is their farm; it’s a genuine place to connect with the land and the farmers, to understand where their food comes from, and to make lifelong memories,” said Kay.

Kay is particularly passionate about school group excursions. “We’re creating connections that will shape their future opinions and consumer choices. They might even be inspired to pursue a career in agriculture, bringing a new generation of enthusiastic, passionate people to our industry.”

As Kay talks about the milk, cream, butter, milk-fed pork, and rose veal they produce, her eyes light up. Despite being a micro-dairy, they survive and thrive thanks to their passion and the support of chefs and customers.

“We process all our milk and cream within a micro, on-farm creamery—an investment funded by the success of our farm tourism. We separate the cream in our century-old dairy using an Alfa Laval separator of the same vintage. The skim milk feeds our pigs, and the cream is processed into our award-winning artisan dairy products, including our handmade cultured butter and Farmer Dave’s cream top Jersey milk. Every part of the process is done by us here. Our products are boutique, extraordinary, and command a premium price.”

There’s no wastage on the farm. The animals are rotated around the property, positively impacting the land, which is considered part of their family.

“While we do have a Farm Gate, most of our dairy, pork, and veal products are supplied to high-end restaurants in Brisbane. These chefs have become part of our family. They know us, our farm, and our ethics intimately. Our farm, story, and produce are respected and showcased across their menus.”

“It’s really important that we encourage other farmers who might be thinking, ‘we can’t keep doing this,’ and let them know there are other ways to succeed,” she said. “When a higher value is placed on products from farmers choosing a regenerative journey, it allows more resources to be allocated to those practices and helps us continue down that path.

“The whole story, from raising calves to working with chefs, schools, visionaries, and policy-makers, means our role is more than producing great-tasting products. We are moving the dial for the future.”

Tommerup Farm welcome to visitors

Visiting Tommerup’s Dairy Farm

If you’d like to visit the farm, check their website for open days and events.