15 February 2019
There is a powerful lifeblood flowing through the White family farm, Philmara Ltd. Attributable to the lifetime commitment from owners Philip and Maree who purchased the property in 1983, and the investment of their three boys, John, Mike and Thomas and their wives and partners, the inimitable dynamic has a positive impact on all elements of the operation.
The family business encompasses four dairy units milking 2,000 cows and a 400ha dry stock unit, with three of the business’ properties owned in conjunction with Mike and his brothers. This business is run under a company structure with each farm being a separate company with individual shares.
The home dairy farm is 116ha freehold (112ha effective) with a flat to rolling topography, wintering 390 cows with a budgeted production of 175,000 kgMS. Mike and Daphne contract milk on this farm and have an 11 month old daughter, Emilia, who is the 5th generation to live on the property.
The farm is run as a system 3 dairy farm which the Whites believe suits the land type, infrastructure and people. The farm operates 100% spring calving with all cows wintered on-farm.
Philmara is a financially sustainable enterprise, and while profitability is a priority, this does not come at the expense of environmental or social aspirations. The judges commended the wider family’s ‘no secrets’ philosophy and their transparency with staff who are treated with the utmost respect. Health and wellbeing of the farm team is the number one focus.
Passionate about their environment, the Whites seek to exceed their environmental obligations - “100% compliance, 100% of the time” is the motto. Its on-farm investments, excellent system and best management practices position Philmara as a leader in protecting Mother Nature.
Equally, the team is dedicated to its animal health and welfare, with condition, production and reproduction not to be compromised. The care and growth rate of young stock is a non-negotiable.
On behalf of his parents and the wider White family, Mike comments of the decision to enter the awards, “At an industry level we are seeing so much going on in the environmental space that should be showcased and the awards are doing this. At our farm level, it’s great to get feedback from the judges and to see what our peers are doing well. There is a lot we can learn from each other.”
Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
Miraka Farm Stewardship Award