Welcome to Our Farm
Discover the green pastures of Tilba Tilba
Our pure Jersey herd grazes the lush green pastures of the Tilba Tilba Valley in South East NSW. We have been dairying for the past 20 years having started with just one cow 18 years ago (our herd has grown significantly since then!) Milk for the Tilba Real Dairy brand is drawn from two sources, our home farm, ‘Mountain Valley’ in the Tilba Tilba Valley and the Salway’s pure jersey herd in the Cobargo area. We also send some milk to Bega Cheese.
Our pure bred Jersey herd was derived from AI (artificial insemination), ET (embryo transfer) or farm bred bulls. We only use sires which have the A2 gene, following this methodology for the past 6 years ensures that we have a high percentage of A2 protein in our milk, yogurt, cream and some of our cheese range. It is also important to note that Jersey cows by genetic default predominately throw the A2 gene therefore have a high percentage of A2 protein in their milk.
Our milk is pasteurised, as is a legal requirement in Australia, which is a heat treatment. The milk is heated to 72.6 degrees for 15 seconds which maintains the integrity of the milk and ensures that bacteria levels are kept under control. We chose not to homogenise as we believe that food should be as close to its natural form as is possible. This is an additional process of smashing up the fat particles to such a small size that the fat is dispersed throughout the milk.
Our yogurt is a pot-set and available in plain and honey flavoured in 500gm and 1kg tubs. We don’t add any sugar and we use locally procured honey.
We make all of our own soft cheeses, Persian Fetta, Haloumi, Greek style fetta (Bellbrook fetta) and some of our cheddars. As we are a relatively small business, we are unable to manufacture all cheese varieties on-site though our factory and we work with other cheesemakers to produce these for us. We also offer a selected Australian Parmesan and Pecorino, which we repackage for sale, and have an imported Super Blue to compliment our range.
We choose to milk Jersey cows for many reasons – they are such beautiful animals – and they produce milk high in butter fat and protein, have a lower environmental impact on our farm and they are delightful to see grazing in the fields surrounding our farm.
Our Jersey Calves
At Tilba Real Dairy our calves are not considered by us to be waste products. We are fortunate to have a large expansive area to raise the calves. At the age of 6 months we separate the females and male with the females going to a paddock where they are grown to milking age (approximately 2 years old). The male calves are kept for our meat production program and enjoy their time on our lush Tilba pastures till approximately 12 months of age.
We often get asked the question “When are the calves separated from their mothers?” Each calf is different and needs to be individually assessed and monitored after birth. Some calves are completely abandoned by their mothers and human intervention is required earlier so that the calf receives its much needed colostrum, much like human babies. The calf is not separated from its mother until it is truly on its way and fit and healthy.