Ringarooma dairy farmer becomes front woman for cheese campaign

SAY CHEESE: Ringarooma dairy farmer and cheese advocate Shaelyn Van Brecht. Picture: Supplied
SAY CHEESE: Ringarooma dairy farmer and cheese advocate Shaelyn Van Brecht. Picture: Supplied

When it comes to saying cheese for the camera, Ringarooma dairy farmer Shaelyn Van Brecht is all smiles.

As one of nine female dairy farmers and producers fronting a Dairy Australia campaign to encourage women to eat more cheese, Ms Van Brecht is the ideal candidate.

“I like nothing more than sitting down to a cheese platter,” she said.

Despite her smile, Ms Van Brecht said this was her first time in front of a camera.

“The crew made lots of cow jokes and that calmed my nerves,” she said.

“It was so awesome. I was so happy with the way it ended up.”

Working on her family’s dairy farm, Ms Van Brecht jumped at the chance to share her passion with a national audience.

“I milk the cows every day so I wanted to be part of it in encouraging people to eat cheese.”

But with fame comes extra attention.

“I’ve been stopped every time I go to the supermarket with people asking about cheese,” Ms Van Brecht said.

“I do a couple of classes at the gym and it’s got everyone talking about how much I enjoy eating cheese.”

On a serious note, Dairy Australia research found while women loved to support Australian farmers, nine in 10 were not consuming enough dairy.

“I was so surprised at the statistics showing how many women don’t eat dairy or cheese,” she said.

“That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to join like-minded female farmers from all over the country to create this video and raise awareness of this easy way to help out.”

Promoting women in agriculture has gained momentum, with several events and opportunities coming up for Tasmania’s female producers.

Liza Dale-Hallett from the Invisible Farmer Project is the key note speaker for Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association’s Inspire – Women in Farming event at Riverside on March 22.

Tasmanian Women in Agriculture chairwoman Belinda Hazell, farming mentor Gwendolyn Adams, dairy advocate Montanna Gilroy and Rural Alive and Well chief executive Liz Little will join Ms Dale-Hallett as speakers at Inspire.

“The agricultural industry in Tasmania is proud to have many strong and independent women at its core, but it is lacking a key driver to bring these lynch pins together and empower them to play key roles moving forward,” the association said.

In addition to the Inspire networking and education event, Rural Business Tasmania and Tasmanian Women in Agriculture are offering three scholarships for the 2018 Rural Womens’ Gathering at Latrobe in May.